Inside Lagos secret jetties: Police, oil pipeline vandals in eight-hour gun duel

(m) at 20-04-2013 07:23PM (6 years ago)

(8422 | Hero)

Anyone visiting Kadoko Konu area of Ikorodu, Lagos State, for the first time, will never suspect any act of illegality going on there, let alone suspect any of the residents whose facial disposition spells that of serious- minded individual as perpetrator.

But how wrong! A visit by Sunday Vanguard, on Tuesday, revealed that behind many buildings, particularly those built in the valley of Kokonu Konu, were secret jetties, through which acts of vandalism had been taking place for long, undetected.

Behind the buildings was a thick forest. But on closer observation, it was discovered that the forest was only an added advantage for the vandals to conceal their criminal acts. This followed the discovery of 12 illegal jetties which paths, through the forest, link to Arepo, Ogun State, from where these vandals, who would stop at nothing to enrich their pockets, siphon petroleum products.

But the burble burst after the Inspector-General of Police Special Task Force on Anti-Pipeline vandalism uncovered the jetties used by the vandals.

Arrested, after eight -hour shoot-out with the vandals, in the wee hours of Tuesday, were four suspected members of the gang. 2,000 liters of petroleum products stored in forty 50-liter can were also recovered.

Equally recovered were over 5,000 corks of cans stocked in six bags. Surprisingly, one of the suspects was alleged to be an informant to the task force.

The suspects, all residents of Kadoko Konu, were said to have built their houses close to the creeks from where they created the jetties, to facilitate movement of petroleum products.

A total of seven canoes reportedly used to convey the products were berthed at the jetties. There was also a shrine behind one of the buildings where the vandals reportedly performed sacrifice before embarking on any mission. Charms, brooms, candles and threads of different colors were found in the shrine.

Disclosing how the the task force uncovered the jetties, Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge of the task force, Friday Ibadin, narrated, “ Three days ago (lpenultimate Friday), we received information that vandals were about going to Elepete, popularly known as Arepo to open the valve. You know, that area had been clamped since the last incident there. In fact, we have blocked the entire area, making it impossible for them to penetrate. When they discovered it was blocked , they moved to Ijedodo, but, unfortunately, for them, we were also able to tackle that.

“Then yesterday ( last Sunday), we learnt that about 80 of them were firing at Kadoko Konu area of Ikorodu. We stormed there at midnight and exchanged fire with them. But, considering government property and in order to prevent any fire outbreak, we stopped shooting at about 8am. But they continued firing until about 10am. When they did not hear any reply from us, I believe they started their unpleasant act.

“We allowed them to do their work inside the creeks while we condoned off the entire exit points. Later, we picked up three of them and, during interrogation, one of them mentioned the fouth person whom he identified as D1. The suspects identities were given as Banjo Nofiu, 33, Ogunleti Okanlawon, 32, Ahmed Bashorun alias D1 and Nofiu Rasak.

“Initially, when we started the interrogation, they all insisted not to know anything about the jetties or the recovered items. But after a while, one of them, Ogunleti Okanlawon, disclosed that he was working for D1, the task force informant”. It was gathered that the Oyo State- born panel beater used his bus to convey the products right from the jetty behind him, to a junction from where the products are sold. However, during one of the trips, his vehicles reportedly went up in flames.

Admitting reluctantly to his indulgence, Ogunleti said, “ Yes. I use my bus to help them carry fuel. At the end of each trip, they pay me N5,000- N6,000 . At times I go once a week or twice. I take the products to Oke-Oko junction where they sell to buses. I am not involved in the sales, I only convey them to the junction . But, I stopped working since February. I used to work for D1. I was arrested Monday, after I came out to fix the headlight of one of my neighbors.”

He is lying – InformantBut his alleged boss, Ahmed Bashorun, alias D1, discovered to be an informant to the task force, described Okanlanwon’s claim as untrue. Rather, he said, “ I normally help the IG monitoring to locate where vandals are. I am an informant. I chose to work for the police because I am close to them.

“But, I was surprised when they arrested these three guys this morning and was told they mentioned my name, that they were working for me.. I have been receiving calls of threats on the phone from vandals that they will deal with me and my family for giving police information about their activities here. I even gave the police some of the telephone numbers through which I was threatened. Let the person that says he works for me say that to my face!.”

50 liters compensationAlso on his part, Nofiu exonerated himself from the allegation. He told Sunday Vanguard that he usually saw vandals bringing petroleum products from the jetty behind his building, but could not challenge them for fear of being killed. “ Those people are deadly. I could not confront them because they were armed.

They can kidnap and even kill one before help will come. I just packed into the building last November. The only thing is that each time they finished their business, they will give me 50 liters or 100 liters of fuel which I fill into my vehicle and power generating set. I can identify them if I see them,” the suspect said.

Asked why they never deemed it fit to report the activities of vandals to the police, the suspects claimed they were scared of being discovered to be police informants and could be killed in the process.

The suspects, according to Ibadin, would be charged to court.

ajanni (m) at 20-04-2013 09:38PM
(95400 | Grande Master)

high chiefs of the society are behind that for sure
innocentbola (m) at 2-09-2015 12:45AM
(8416 | Hero)