…9 cops still missing
By Evelyn Usman
LAGOS—A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has remanded 20 suspected pipeline vandals alleged to have engaged a team of policemen in a shoot-out that led to an explosion in Arepo area of Ogun State, two months ago.
Among the suspects, who were arraigned on a 12-count charge, were two females.
Pipeline vandals numbering over 40 had reportedly operated in Arepo 2 months ago, where a pipeline belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was broken, from which they were siphoning petroleum product, before policemen attached to the Special Task Force on Anti-Pipeline Vandalism, swooped on them, thereby leading to a shoot-out which resulted in an explosion.
As at yesterday, the bodies of nine policemen said to have disappeared since the shoot-out were yet to be recovered.
Identities of the policemen comprising four Inspectors and five Corporals, were given as Inspector Oguntihemen Kolawole, Inspector Raymond Oriere, Inspector Usman Mohammed, Inspector Tijani Jimoh, Corporal Elogbamen Timothy, Corporal Yakubu Aliyu, Corporal Usman Abdukarim and Corporal Dauda Mohammed.
The police prosecutor led by Mathew Omosu, a Deputy Superintendent of Police,DSP said the offense was punishable under the criminal code .
But the suspects; Felix Yayu, Ijoufaya Legbe, Yakubu Ebiwei, Augustine Ebiwei, Tamara Dembofa, Owei Atile, Agbara Tiewei, Rufus Godwin, Tierry Koiyetin, Ebis Sobijoh, Ibori Lawrence, Eberebu Ibori, Atinuke Odewale, Fatai Bolaji Ishola, Ahmed Bashoru, Odewale Waheed, Susan Vianana, Tuesday Filatei, Yeiyah Yello and Ismail Abdullahi, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
However, Justice Okon Abang ordered that they be remanded in prison custody , while the case was adjourned to August 19 and 20 for trial.