By Ifeanyi Okolie
LAGOS—Three suspected vandals operating at Ilado and Takwa Bay Islands in Lagos State have been arrested by operatives of Inspector General of Police Special Task Force on Pipeline Vandalism, recovering 118 jerry-cans and two speed boats.
Vanguard gathered that the suspects, including a 20-year-old woman, were identified as Adebanjo Anthony, Moturayo Lateef and Ola Omosowome.
They were said to have been arrested at separate locations when the operatives raided Agbagbtu, an area in Ilado, which is notorious for pipeline vandalism.
Sources disclosed that 20-year-old Lateef was arrested while siphoning PMS from a pipeline belonging to Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, into some jerry cans, while Omosowome and Anthony were apprehended on water while heading to the scene where the products were being siphoned.
When Vanguard interviewed the suspects, Omosowome and Anthony, they said they were hired by a man to transport the jerry cans to a spot where the pipeline was broken but were intercepted by the police.
Anthony, who is 20-year-old and a native of Igbokoda area of Ondo State, told Vanguard that he was not into pipeline vandalism.
He said: “ I am a boat boy and I don’t brake pipeline. I work for who ever contracts me to work for him. Though people usually contract me to transport petroleum products for them, but I do not think it is illegal.
‘’On the day I was arrested, a man, approached me at Liverpool Jetty in Apapa, where I worked and asked that I and Omosowome follow him to Igbelejo Island and help him transport some jerry cans to Agbagbot Island, which is very close to Atlas Cove.
‘’On our way, we were intercepted by the police and they areested us. I told them that I was only contracted to transport the jerry cans and not involved in pipeline vandalism but they are not buying my story.”
However, the commander of the task force, CSP Valentine Olumese, while confirming the report, stated that the suspects were arrested, following a tip-off on their activities.
He explained that he received an intelligence report that vandals had broken a pipeline at Agbagbotu which is very close to Atlas Cove Jetty.