A suspected pipeline vandal, who was paraded by the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps on Saturday, has said he is a supplier of diesel and kerosene to reputable companies and government organisations.
The suspect, Olusola Olomala, said he was arrested unjustly by overzealous NSCDC officials even when he had evidence to support the claim that he was a registered oil marketer.
He said, “I am a legitimate oil supplier. I lift kerosene and diesel from Apapa where I also have an office. Whenever my customers tell me they need product, I take it to them wherever they are.
“On Friday night, a customer called me that he needed a product for his filling station at Owode Apa and I took a truck to the place and emptied its content into a well.
“I’m not a vandal and I have receipts and invoices for all my transactions but the NSCDC men have now allowed me to go and get them from my office. I have been doing this business since 2006 and I supply some state governors’ offices as well as several filling stations and private organisations.”
The 40-year-old father of two said the products recovered by the NSCDC men after his arrest did not belong to him.
A second suspect, Sunday Jemaiwole, said he was a mechanic that had just finished working on a customer’s vehicle adding that he knew nothing about oil pipeline vandalism.
The Commandant, NSCDC, Lagos state Command, Mr. Shem Obafaiye, however, said the suspects were vandals and were arrested through intelligence gathering.
“We caught the suspects with products at Badagry on Friday night. Through intelligence gathering, we were informed that vandals had an operational base in the area so I mobilised my men and during operation, we arrested the suspects with 70 kegs of petrol”, he said.
Responding to Olomala’s claims, Obafaiye said, “He said he supplies diesel and kerosene and yet it is petrol that was found in the kegs. One also wonders why he attends to his customers at night in a place notorious for pipeline vandalism.”
Obafaiye lamented the amount of money being lost to pipeline vandalism every day. He said the corps had beefed up security in areas notorious for pipeline vandalism such as Majidun in Ikorodu, Badagry, 7th Avenue in FESTAC, Ijedodo and Epe.