BY SESAN OLUFOWOBI
Lagos State Taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit has arrested four suspected oil pipeline vandals, including a pastor, at Majidun, Ikorodu.
The suspects ‚Äî Samson Aliu, 30, Niyi Emorioloye, 21, Onyekachi Chukwu, 22, and 58-year-old Oluafin Abejoye, who claimed to be a pastor at Holy Power Church of Zion‚Äî were arrested with 317¬† twenty-five litre kegs, containing estimated 15,850 litres of fuel.
It was learnt that the arrests were made during another operation by the task force officials. A source told our correspondent that the task force operatives pursued some hoodlums in the area around 5pm on Tuesday.
He said, ‚ÄúThe chase was disrupted when the officials ran into several kegs loaded with fuel. While the hoodlums jumped into the water and escaped, the men decided to investigate the source of the fuel in the 317 kegs.‚Äù
It was learnt that the kegs were left close to the house of the community leader. The policemen investigated further and were able to¬† arrest the four suspects.
Task force Chairman, CSP Bayo Sulaiman, who confirmed the arrests, said, ‚ÄúOur officials came across the kegs by chance during an operation. Since the kegs were placed very close to the Baale‚Äôs house, it fuelled suspicion that residents of the household might have been engaged in pipeline vandalism. Further enquiries led to the arrests of four suspects.‚Äù
Sulaiman said the suspects would be arraigned in court and punished according to the laws of the state if found guilty.
However, the suspects denied that they were the owners of the kegs, saying they were arrested wrongly.
The pastor said, ‚ÄúI know oil pipeline vandalism is rampant in Majidun. But I don‚Äôt engage in it, I am a primate of the Holy Power Church of Zion.‚Äù
Emorioloye, Aliu and Chukwu also denied engaging in the act. While Emorioloye said he was arrested when he came down from a canoe, Aliu, claimed to be the son of a celestial church leader and Chukwu said they were arrested far from where the kegs were found.