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NNPC, security agents aid Arepo oil thieves – Investigation



Pipeline Vandals
The leadership of the Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation and security agencies entrusted with the
responsibility of protecting the nation’s pipeline have been accused of
turning a blind eye as hoodlums help themselves to the nation’s oil at
Arepo, a community in Ogun State.
SUNDAY PUNCH gathered that for
several years, a group of criminals have vandalised the NNPC pipeline
that pumps imported petroleum products from the Atlas Cove in Lagos, to
Mosimi Depot, Sagamu, Ogun State
The depot in Mosimi plays the crucial responsibility of distributing refined petroleum products to the cities of the South-West.
was gathered that the hoodlums had vandalised the pipeline in the
creeks of Arepo in such a way that whenever the Petroleum Products
Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the NNPC pumped refined products,
they (the hoodlums) would also get it from the broken portions of the
pipeline in the creeks.
There are yet to be verified reports of
complicity between the criminals, some security operatives and even
officials of the PPMC in the thriving criminality against Nigeria.
It was gathered that PPMC officials
aided the vandals with privileged information regarding the time the
products would be pumped.
Investigations revealed that the PPMC pump fuel from the Atlas Cove in Lagos to Mosimi twice every week.
It was also learnt that the NNPC could
not stop the pumping of the products even with a consciousness of the
perforations on the critical national asset because doing such could
lead to petroleum scarcity.
An oil worker, who confided in one of
our correspondents, said the NNPC might have been frustrated after the
killing of three of its workers at Arepo in 2012.
The source said the criminals,
perpetrating the action, might have become emboldened by the alleged
connivance of the security personnel.
Last week, the vandals shot and killed
four policemen for arresting four petroleum tankers that were used to
perpetrate the crime.
The source said, “You can’t imagine that this is happening in Nigeria. This cannot be allowed to happen in any civilized clime.
“We are in a country where the new
government is talking about recovering stolen funds yet we allow a set
of hoodlums to run riot against the country’s economy.
“You know what those vandals at Arepo
are doing, they went to the creek, vandalized the pipeline that pumps
fuel from Atlas cove to Mosimi so that whenever the PPMC pumps fuel,
they are also getting it. It would be pouring like a running tap in such
a way that whenever they are done with collection, they simply allow
the fuel to fall into the creek.
“And because the level of fuel in the
creek has become very high, the fuel has risen to knee level. What some
of them do is to use plastic buckets to scoop the fuel which they supply
to buyers who get it from them at a ridiculously low price.
“In fact, if not for the issue of
conspiracy, how come that the security personnel have not tracked down
the tankers, the drivers and the owners to stop this crime? If the
vandals are hiding in the creeks, are they beyond the reach of Nigeria
and are the tankers also hiding in the creeks?”
However, the source could not put a
figure to the amount of money being lost by the country to the brazen
criminality being committed against the country by the hoodlums over the
When contacted, the NNPC debunked
statements that products especially Premium Motor Spirit pumped from
Atlas Cove to Mosimi was leaking in Arepo, stressing that PPMC officials
had not been found culpable for the leaks.
The Group General Manager, Group Public
Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, told one of our correspondents
that after extensive investigations, it was discovered that it was not
In a text message to one of our
correspondents, Alagbe said, “It is not true. It was investigated
extensively on Thursday when you initially sent the text. PPMC personnel
that are on the ground in Arepo to Mosimi axis said there was no truth
to the claim.”
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence
Corps Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Okeh, also denied that the
corps personnel were colluding with saboteurs at Arepo, noting that the
operatives had come under attacks in the area many times over their
“uncompromising stand” against vandalism.

Author: Orimisan Temidayo

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