Policemen attached to the Lagos state police command have arrested aLagosbased businessman Daniel Okafor for allegedly belonging to a syndicate that specializes in vandalizing oil pipeline at the FESTAC Town area of the state.
Police sources said Okafor ,an oil marketer is being investigated by detectives attached to the Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS) Ikeja alongside the driver of his tanker and two other men over allegation that they connived amongst themselves to damage oil pipelines in Lagos state where they allegedly siphoned crude oil belonging to the government.
The Lagos state commissioner of police Mr. FatiaOwoseni while commenting on the arrest described the suspects as economic saboteurs adding that the police will not allow vandals have a field day in Lagos state .
He said “ Followingsurveillance mounted by our cracked operatives , a businessman who specializes in breaking oil pipeline and three other persons were arrested about midnight when the driver of the tanker went to lift the stolen fuel for onward transfer for sale. They were arrested in the act and are undergoing interrogation that will assist us in arresting other members of the syndicate involved in economic sabotage”
Mr. Okafor however denied being a pipeline vandal . He blamed his driver for his ordeal.
“I am a clean businessman. I have been in oil business for the past six years and all my documents are legal . I am well known by oil marketers in Lagos and calling me a pipeline vandal is disheartening. I got into this mess because my driver decided to play a fast one to earn quick money. He was arrested and despite the fact that he and his cohorts have told the police that I do not know anything about the illegal business they got themselves into, the police arrested me . I am not a vandal. I do not sell oil gotten from vandalized pipeline . I am innocent of the allegation because I don’t know anything about the crime. I am not involved in anyway”
The driver who identified himself simply as Mr. Bello blamed bad friends for alluring him into crime .
“ I was introduced to this business by one Alhaji. He told me that the police will never arrest them because they have done their home work and they know the terrain , where to move and how to move out. That fateful day, he called me on my mobile phone that the coast was clear and I should bring the tanker. I went to meet him to lift the fuel but the police swooped on us and arrested us to their station at FESTAC Town. This is my first time to be involved in such a thing. I went because I wanted to make quick money. I felt okay with it because my friends told me that we will never be catch. I know that my oga (Mr. Okafor) was arrested . I was shocked that they arrested him that he is one of us. My oga (Mr. Okafor) is not aware that I was going for the illegal work.