Nine persons, including an amputee have been arrested by operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Task Force on Pipeline Vandalism, for vandalizing and siphoning petroleum products from a pipeline belonging to the Nigeria National Petroleum Commission, NNPC, in Ogijo area of Ogun State.
The suspects, including two ex- militants from Ondo State, an owner of a popular petrol station and one of his staff and five receivers of stolen petrol products, were arrested at separate locations in Ogijo, Shagamu and Ijebu-Ode areas.
Sources told Vanguard that the militants were working with a notorious gang of vandals operating in Ikorodu, Lagos, but relocated to Ogijo, Ogun State, when they fell out with the commander of the camp, one Ossy, in Ishawo, Ikorodu.
They reportedly formed their own gang and the owner of the popular filling station, located at Ogijo, was their major client.
When Vanguard interviewed one of the militants, Timi Tamarawemeyedo, also known as City, he told Vanguard that he left Ikorodu for Ogijo because Ossy, the ‘commander’ in charge of Ikorodu wanted to kill him.
“I was against their brutal style of operation and Ossy became angry with me and wanted me dead. Our problem started in May 2014, when they abducted nine policemen that attempted to stop our operation at the Arepo Creek.
‘’As a senior member of the group, I told Ossy not to kill the policemen, but he ordered that they be killed because they were seriously disturbing his activities.
‘’I moved to Ogijo with one of my brothers, Austin Ajama and we teamed up with one Fish, Henry, Aloma, Lastborn, Tabalet and some others. These guys were natives of the area and they also had arms. They also brought one Wasiu, who is an engineer who used to bore the hole on the pipeline and also constructed valve which we used in connecting the hose.
‘’Our operation was going smoothly, until recently when another group went behind us to siphon fuel from the same line where we had worked and they had an issue with some policemen on patrol and they shot at the officers. That was what got the policemen angry and they lunched a man hunt fort us.
‘’On the day I was arrested, I was at our usual rendezvous with my brother Ajama and my driver, Oluwole Akingbeno, waiting for Fish and his men, when the police rounded us up. It was one of the buyers, Abdulraman Yusuf, who led the policemen to where I was.” City, also disclosed that he bought two SUVs and built houses in Ondo and Lagos states.
Also, the owner of the popular fuel station in Ogijo, one Niyi Fadassi, told Vanguard that he bought few jerry cans of fuel from the vandals.
According to him “ It was my supervisor who bought the products from the vandals. I wasn’t in the country when it happened but when I came back he told me that our stock got finished and he bought few jerry cans from the vandals to sell to our customers due to the scarcity. “ He said.
But Abdulraman Yusuf, who was a regular supplier of the fuel station, told Vanguard that he sold products to station on several occasions.
“ Niyi, was my customer and I have supplied him on several occasions. I used to sell a 50-litre jerry can to him for N3,500 because and I used to buy for N3,000 from the militants.” He stated.
The Commander of the Task Force, CSP Valentine Olumese, while confirming the reports, said the suspects have all made confessional statements adding that they will be charged to court at the completion of investigations.