By Evelyn Usman
Lagos—Five nationals of Benin Republic have been arrested in connection with pipeline vandalism,with the recovery of 500 jerricans filled with petroleum products suspected to have been siphoned from a ruptured pipeline belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
The suspects identified as Agbotou Firmin, Sohe Soule, Gbenou Daniel, Dosspu Vigor and Sodohe Oliver were apprehended by the Nigerian Navy Task Force along the creek at Tongeji, in Ogun State.
They were reportedly about to convey the product to their country when the personnel swooped on them.
Parading the suspects before newsmen yesterday, the Commander, NNS Beecroft, Apapa, Commodore Abraham Adaji said the suspects claimed to be fishermen based in Port Novo, Benin Republic, when accosted.
“They claimed that it was their boss who asked them to convey the product to Port Novo, where it would be sold. This is petrol imported by the Federal Government for local consumption. There is no known agreement between Nigerian and Benin Republic for the supply of petrol.”
Thereafter, he handed the suspects to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC for prosecution.
Receiving the suspects,the Lagos State Commander, NSCDC, Tanjudeen Balogun said “I am elated by the confidence the Nigerian Navy repose on us by deeming us worthy to investigate and prosecute the suspects.”