By Evelyn Usman
Two suspected pipeline vandals believed to be the boys of wanted gang leader, Rambo, have been arrested by naval personnel of Operation Awatse, at Imagbon area of Ogun State, while conveying a total of 2,650 litres of syphoned petroleum products to the point of sale in Ogun State.
The arrest was made barely six days after the completion of repairs on pipelines that pump petroleum products from the Atlas Cove to Mosimi depot. The pipelines, said to have been destroyed by vandals, took six months to fix.
Before handing the suspects and exhibits to the Nigerian Security Civil Defence Corps, the Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Beecroft, Commodore Mauris Eno, explained that “a private outfit engaged by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, for security and maintenance of pipelines in conjunction with personnel of Operation AWATSE, arrested two suspects—Suleiman Ismail and Kingsley Imaeto— with 53 jerry cans containing perol suspected to have been syphoned from the pipelines.
When approached, the suspects, who were conveying the products in four vehicles and claimed to be drivers, said they were hired to convey the products to Ilodo area of Ogun State.
According to the 39 years old Ismail, a commercial driver, “four days ago, Rambo called me to meet him at Ogijo, towards the new auditorium at the Redemption Camp.
“When I got there, I hesitated and was about to drive away. But on a second thought, I agreed to help him, as I was afraid he could harm me. My Sienna could only take 15 jerry cans and he said he would pay me N500 for each.
“On the way, I had a flat tyre. I left Rambo with the product in the vehicle and went with the bad tyre to a vulcaniser. I did not see him on arrival. On the way to Ilodo, some security men stopped to know what was in the car.
“When I called Rambo to inform him that I had been apprehended, he promised he would come and see the security men, but he did not come until I was taken away.”
His alleged partner in crime, Imaeto, 40, who admitted to have driven his Mazda to same spot at Ogijo, mentioned one Iya Bidemi and Tochi as owners of the petroleum products, adding that he was also to collect N500 for each jerry can.