The security operatives of the Lagos State Police Command has announced the arrest of two suspects and others who specialize in vandalizing petroleum pipelines in Ikotun, Lagos Mainland.
According to the Police, the saboteurs were arrested for vandalizing the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipelines, located the Omo Onile, Ikotun, causing a decrease of petroleum loading activities at the Ejigbo Depot.
The vandals, alongside others at large, were alleged to have loaded about two tankers, before they fled on sighting policemen, while they were loading fuel into the third tanker.
It was learnt that the suspects were sighted by an operative of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), who was on his way to work in the early hours of the day.
The unnamed policeman alerted one of his colleagues attached to the Ikotun Division who promptly mobilised his men to the scene.
On sighting the policemen, the suspects were said to have left their tankers to force an escape, but they were promptly apprehended by the police and taken to the station for prosecution.
“The incident happened around 4:00am on Monday. An operative of IRT who sighted the vandals alerted me on the telephone and I moved my men to the scene. On getting to the scene, I quickly alerted a chieftain of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers’ (PTDA) Association at Ejigbo NNPC Depot, because we met the pipeline spilling fuel at the scene.
“We had altercation with the operatives of a para-military agency, who claimed that it was their responsibility to handle the case, albeit, but we rebuffed them because the police have statutory general duty obligations and we are not restricted in our mandate to protect lives and property,” the Police said.
The statement continued that; “On our invitation, men of the Lagos State Fire Service and officials of NNPC also came to the scene to prevent fire outbreak and secure the place.
“The Lagos State Police Commissioner subsequently directed that the matter be transferred to the IRT’s office in Ikeja, hence, the suspects and their tankers are now being detained there.”