The Lagos State Police Command, says it has arrested five persons suspected to be allegedly responsible for the Abule-Egba pipeline fire explosion, which destroyed more than 100 houses and cars.
The Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, CP Imohimi Edgal, told newsmen on Tuesday that the suspects were arrested after evidence from the fire scene were picked up and analysed.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that there was a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation pipeline fire explosion on December 18, 2018, where no less than 100 houses and 77 cars were destroyed, but no life was lost.
The Lagos police boss said that one Rasak Oyekunle, who has an electrical workshop close to the spot where the fire started first was arrested and he confessed that he belonged to the gang responsible for the explosion.
Edgal further said that the suspect claimed he situated his workshop closed to the spot they were siphoning NNPC products so as to divert public attention from the illegal operation in the area.
“On December 18, 2018 at 8pm, there was a fire outbreak at Isopako Awori, Abule-Egba area of Lagos State. The fire emanated from NNPC pipeline that was deliberately ruptured by vandals in their bid to siphon Premium Motor Spirit from the broken pipe.
“The consequence was a huge ball of fire that consumed about 100 houses and 77 vehicles worth several millions of naira.
“Based on the development, operatives of the State Anti-Robbery Squad, Ikeja, were detailed to investigate the incident and ensure the arrest of those behind the crime.
“The operatives mobilised to the scene and picked up some pieces of evidence for analysis, which led to the arrest of a suspect, who confessed to committing the crime.
“He further revealed that he owns a generator-repairs workshop situated right at the spot where the ruptured pipeline was laid.
“He said that the location of the workshop on the pipeline was to enable them siphon fuel undetected,” he said.
The CP added that the first suspect’s confession led to the arrest of four other suspects, which included a 40-year-old man, who had been on the police wanted list.
He said the gang had been in the business of stealing petroleum product for many years until they met their waterloo.
In a similar development, 10 suspects were arrested on January 15, for stealing electricity cables used to supply street light at Sand Area, Orile Iganmu.
The suspects were arrested based on information made available to FSARS operatives, who moved swiftly to the scene to arrest the suspects, exhibits recovered from the suspects were electric cable, knife and saw.
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