By Godwin Oritse
LAGOSâ€”LESS than one month after members of Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND, attacked and bombed Atlas Cove in Lagos, sea robbers, last week, invaded the Ibru Jetty at Ibafo oil tank farm and made away with over 5,000 metric tonnes of petrol from an indigenous vesselâ€” â€˜MTÂ Time Teresaâ€™.
The criminals,Â who Vanguard gathered, stormed the Jetty at midnight in another vessel held the ship captain and crew hostage before siphoning the fuel.
It was further gathered thatÂ security agents and depot operators fled when theÂ robbers arrived the jetty and shot sporadically into the air, leaving enough room fro them to operate.
An eye witness confirmed that â€œa group of men armed to the teeth invaded the jetty on another vessel at about midnight and siphoned the fuel into their own vessel after which they escaped without hindranceâ€.
The source who works in one of the tank farms at the jetty which houses about 22 tank farms said for the hours that the operation lasted, no security personnel was bold enough to come out.
Other depot sources confirmed that the stolen petroleum belonged to a tank farm operator simply identified as Bovas Petroleum. The company is yet to finish constructing its tank farm which is also located at the Kirikiri area of Apapa.
â€œThe security operatives who were on duty could not do anything about it, as a matter of fact, the officers on duty were not even in uniform let alone having enough weapons to confront themâ€ a source confirmed.
The 122.6 meter long MT Trine Teresa was built in Turkey in 2007 and originally had the flag of Malta, but her present ownership could not be ascertained as at press time.
Every efforts to speakÂ with any one at Bovas was fruitless as our correspondent was told at the construction site that there was no one competent to talk on the matter but a security personnel at the gate innocently gave indication of the attack even as he directed our correspondent to Ibru jetty again.
But confirming the attack, a member of Depot Owners Association called for a more serious effort on the part of the government, to ensure that the jetties conformÂ with the International Ships and Ports Facility (ISPS) Code.
The memberÂ said they had started putting measures in place to avert a recurrence of the incident.