Lateef Motunrayo, 20, has been arrested by the Lagos State police for allegedly leading a pipeline vandalism group in Ilado and Takwa Bay islands of the state, alongside side Anthony Adebanjo and Ola Omosowome.
According to reports, the trio was arrested when operatives of the Police Task Force on Anti-Pipeline Vandalism raided their hideout in Agbagbotu, Ilado, recovering 118 jerry cans and two speedboats from them. Motunrayo was allegedly found siphoning fuel from a pipeline belonging to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, into some jerry cans.
On interrogation, she said, “I am not into pipeline vandalism. I was passing through the area around 12am when the police arrested me. I did not know vandals were in the area.
“I live in Takwa Bay area and I was going to my house when the police arrested me.”
However, Adebanjo who is from Igbokoda, Ondo State, but resides around Apapa area, said he was a driver for the vandals, adding that he was hired to transport the jerry cans to the location when the police arrested him.
He said, “I only drive the speedboat. I don’t break pipelines. It is the vandals who usually contract me to transport petroleum products for them. I never knew it was stolen fuel. I was arr
ested on the Igbelejo Island while transporting some jerrycans.
He said he and Omosowome were to take the jerry cans to the Agbabotu Island where they would be filled with fuel by vandals.
“I told the police that I don’t have the names or contacts of the vandals I am working with,” Adebanjo added.
While answering questions by Punch Metro, CSP, Valentine Olumese, said the suspects were arrested by the police following a tip-off.
He added that the vandals damaged the NNPC pipelines at Agbagbotu, close to the Atlas Cove and were siphoning fuel into several jerry cans when the operatives swooped on them.
He said, “When the vandals sighted policemen, they took to their heels. Some of them escaped in speedboats, while others fled into the bushes.
“However, we were able to arrest the three suspects. We also recovered two speedboats being used by the vandals, and 50-litre jerry cans.
“Subsequently, we have alerted the NNPC authorities to the damage and we hope they will fix it in time,” the Commander noted.
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