60 suspected oil thieves arrested in Lagos

Kazeem Ugbodaga

Officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDCs, have arrested 60 persons suspected of siphoning petrol from oil pipeline at Majidun area of Ikorodu, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

Tapping fuel illegally from pipelines is common at Majidun, a suburb of Lagos, where villagers specialize in oil bunkering, raking in millions of naira from the illegal deal.

Officials of the Lagos State Taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit had at several times raided suburbs in Ikorodu to confront the oil thieves making a living in the trade.

However, NSCDC officials stormed the area on Sunday night and discovered several kegs of fuel but were repelled by the vandals.

Fully armed NSCDC officials launched another raid this morning in the area and succeeded in arresting 60 suspected thievesafter villagers attacked them with cutlasses, guns, bottles, among others.

The arrested oil pipeline vandals: sand diggers or oil thieves?

“At least, seven of my men are seriously injured by the villagers. They attacked our men with guns, cutlasses, broken bottles and other dangerous weapons,” says NSCDC’s spokesman, Obafaiye Shem, who addressed journalists after the raid.

“Yesterday night, we got security tip that vandals were operating at Majidun area of Ikorodu, our men went there and saw several kegs of PMS and came with several of them. This morning, we got wind of vandals in the area again.

“We have to go back and the villagers came out to attack my men, but we succeeded in arresting 60 of them. We have received report that a baale in the area is behind the operation. My boys were attacked and wounded,” added Shem, who is the Commandant, Lagos NSCDC.

He warned that it was not going to be business as usual as the command had vowed to eradicate vandalism from Lagos, adding that the arrested suspects would be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC.

“I am not a bunkerer but a mechanic. I did not attack any civil defence official,” says one of the suspects, Adekoya Adebanjo, saying that his arrest was unjust and illegal.

Another suspect, Kamorudeen Raji said he deals in sand business and that he was wrongly arrested as he had never been a vandal; likewise, Shina John, who claimed to be a tipper driver, saying he was arrested inside the Tipper Garage.

A 55-year old man, Adeniji Ganiyu told P.M. NEWS that he came to the area to buy sand and that he just withdrew N120, 000 from the bank to pay for the sand while he displayed the money for newsmen to see, saying he never attacked civil defence officials.

Many others claimed they were sand dealers and that they were arrested while doing their businesses.

View Comments

  • Govt of nigeria what do you want us to do and why do you arrested them, all of you are packing our money saving it for your many generation to come which you pple ve not dream about and why don't you use all this money for home base investment and plan for economy booming rather to be wasting you energy on searching for this categories of pple who are aimless, stranded, hopless and having no option for future opmistc plan. Why had we wasted our father's resources on nigeria educations from primary to the level of university and our life success is not guaranty how dare you publishing it that EFCC got those poor pple arrested in which the same manner of criminality cases is many of you nigeria's leader being convicted of and nothing happen even started from president to the lowrest counsellor of local govt areas , This is why we nigerians are living very wretchedly and nothing govt is planning to do about it .At level of nigeria persay today no law is effective to do all this guys anything talkless of ordinary lagos state law with particular useless criminal code. If many of leaders had laundered our money into foreign banks day by day up till this present time even account of one governor was detected up to 6billion us dolla you' ve not stoped and now puting nigerians in this kind of tragedical conditoin we are.Let me tell you goverment free this people, assist them, record them and equally use them as an instrument to catch other criminals like them and govt itself need to change their ways and have a good plan for nigeria citizens to live well like other country citizen and this is the way to control the crime.GOD BLESS NIGERIA

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  • It is commendable to see our law enforcement officers in the proper discharge of their duties, however i think it is ethically wrong to display the faces of this men because they have not been convicted of any and are still 'suspects' (AJAYI ADEMIDE. CALEB UNIVERSITY IMOTA)

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  • To what purpose? So that the Abuja vandals can cart the same product away as cash? If the government would not redistribute wealth to stem economic sabotage, they must be prepared for scenarios where the citizens boldly agitate for their share or even take it without much ado as in this case. The poverty rate in the country increases everyday, the policy makers must wake up and address this. Criminality, oil bunkering, kidnapping, armed robbery, prostitution and poverty are mutually exclusive!

    Good job Civil Defense but, can you beam your searchlight on the activities at the end of the pipeline n Abuja too?

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  • May God catch u one by one oil thief we 're already on top if u play smart we arrrest and arrest bagger

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  • Good job Civil defence official. But it seem you just open a new year Bank account for the Police officer at Majidun or Ikorodu. I bet you, don't be surprise when you go visiting the arrested vandals and bunkers, half of them whould have been release on excuses that they are not members of the gang. Even after that, when the noise of the arrest died down, all the rest would be release once their contact person settles the Police boss in charge. It's a pitty you took risk for doing a good job, but the Police won't allows your good job receive any commendations.

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