A 29-year-old generating set mechanic was at the weekend arrested in Ipara/Abe Koko along Lagos/Ibadan expressway for pipeline vandalism.
The suspect, Idowu Awoleye, from Saki, Oyo State, was arrested at 1.30 a.m. on Saturday, by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) surveillance team, where he and other members of his gang were loading fuel into jerry cans from NNPC pipeline.
The South-West Coordinator of the Surveillance Team, Chief Joshua Aminu, while speaking on the arrest of the suspect, said his men in Ipara got information that some vandals were tampering with the NNPC pipeline and when they got there the vandals opened fire on his men.
He however, said because of the superior fire power of his men, the vandals abandoned their vehicles already loaded with jerry cans filled with fuel and ran into the bush.
He stated further that the suspect, in his attempt to also escape, was apprehended in the bush and when questioned, said he was going to his farm nearby.
According to Aminu, vehicles abandoned by the vandals included six Ford buses with registration number Lagos AAA 775 XQ, Lagos MUS 651 XP, Oyo BDJ 884 XA, Lagos AKD 585 XQ, Lagos LND 103 XF and Lagos KTU 157 XF.
Others are Nissan Primera car with registration number Ogun XB 171 SRA and Toyota Camry car with no registration number.
While maintaining that the NNPC surveillance team would continue to protect NNPC pipelines from those he described as economic saboteurs, he said the suspect had been handed over to the IGP monitoring team along the Lagos/Ibadan expressway in Ogere.
He said, “The NNPC surveillance team in the South-West will continue to make life unbearable for pipeline vandals as our men will not allow them to continue to damage our economy through their nefarious activities,” he added.