Pipeline vandalism: Nigerian Navy arrests alleged notorious kingpin

Pipeline vandalism: Nigerian Navy arrests alleged notorious kingpin

- Alleged notorious pipeline vandal kingpin, Shaibu Ogunmola, has been arrested by the Nigerian Navy

- Shuaibu and his boys were known for vandalising oil pipelines under the Altas Cove covering about 70 kilometers

- The arrest of Shuaibu was in line with the operation Awase which is about the protection of oil pipelines

The Nigerian Navy on Tuesday, January 22, said it had arrested Shaibu Ogunmola, an alleged notorious pipeline vandal kingpin, under its Operation Awase in Lagos state.

Operation Awase was set up by the Nigerian Army in collaboration with the Nigerian Navy in 2014 to tackle the vandalism of the NNPC pipelines in Majidun, Ikorodu and other parts of the state and to crave the maximum cooperation of host communities.

Rear Admiral Obed Ngalabak, leader of the operation, told newsmen that Shuaibu and his boys were known for vandalising oil pipelines under the Altas Cove covering about 70 kilometers.

The Atlas Cove Depot in Lagos was designed to receive imported petroleum products and through the line products are distributed to various part of the country.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that at the Ilashe Community where Shuaibu operates, drums were buried by the sides of the each pipeline to siphon products when being released from the Atlas cove to other depots.

“Two weeks back, we got information about the operation of some people in Ilashe, part of Atlas cove. Following that information, we came and realised that the oil pipelines have been divided into fields by three people, Shuaibu, Barshiru and Dele.

“The arrest of Shuaibu which we did last week on January 17 was in line with the operation Awase which is about the protection of oil pipelines. He is the ring leader and has been in this business for over 30 years," he said

He said that Shuaibu had groomed some boys in the business adding that his arrest was significant in ensuring the end of vandalism in Nigeria.

Ngalabak said Shuaibu would soon be handed over to relevant agency for immediate and proper prosecution to serve as a deterrent to his boys and others in the line of business.

“We hope that Shuaibu’s arrest will yield result and that proper people in position will do all that is required to punish him," he added.

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He assured that the operation would not rest until all those involved in oil pipeline vandalism were arrested and brought to book. He called for support on logistics for the operations to work effectively and urged Nigerian to support every effort that would help to curb pipeline vandalism for economic growth and development in the country.

Also, the general manager, Security, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Sam Otoboeze, said that the arrest of Shuaibu meant celebration for the corporation.

“The arrest means celebration for us because of the deterrent impact, not only the prosecution of the key character, but the message that will go out. We do hope that the way it is handled will determine to what extent the success will be sustained.

"We celebrate that arrest and we thank the Nigerian Navy for picking him up and want to hope that this continues until so many other Shuaibus’ are arrested because certainly, they are more than 10," he said.

Otoboeze noted that Shuaibu and others in the business of pipeline vandalism remained the major enemies of Nigeria.

He assured that the NNPC would continue to strengthen its partnership with all the agencies to ensure effective protection of the nation’s oil pipelines for economic growth and development in the country.

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“We have a kind of robust intelligence network, outside our own system, which we can also support the government. Also, to be the voice of the agency when they require support, like logistic to make them succeed, that we will do,’’ he added.

Legit.ng previously reported that the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos, Jimi Agbaje, expressed sadness over early morning pipeline explosion which occurred in Abule-Egba area of the state on Wednesday, December 19.

The ensuing inferno gutted numerous houses and vehicles in the area. Agbaje, in a statement by the media director of his campaign oganisation, Felix Oboagwina, on Wednesday, December 19, said it was regretful that the area had become prone to fire disasters resulting from the activities of pipeline vandals.

He said the vandals had over the years turned stealing of petroleum products into a thriving business.

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