03 June 2013, Lagos – The Inspector-General of Police Special Task Force on Anti-Pipeline Vandalisation have reported the arrest of a Ghanaian and three Beninoise, who allegedly attempted to bribe the officers of the task with N520,000 to allow them siphon petroleum product from pipelines in Epe area of Lagos.
The officer in charge of the task force, Assistant Commissioner of Police Friday Ibadin, gave the names of the suspects as Fufo Soglo (Ghanaian), Christopher Suso, Matilda Idowu and Yovo Itoh (all Beninoise).
Ibadin said one of the suspects had confessed that members of Akaraba community in Epe were engaged in the illegal act, after their arrest in a police tent in Atlas Cove, Lagos.
Matilda Idowu, 50, have reportedly admitted being the group’s treasurer. She told journalists that as a result of intensified surveillance around pipeline installations in Epe, some members of the community decided to contribute money to give to policemen to allow them unhindered access.
“One Chukwuma called me to raise N1 million from members of our community to bribe policemen. We levied ourselves N50,000 each and I decided to do the collection. But at the end I was able to raise only N500,000 from 10 persons while I paid N20,000, thereby totalling N520,000. When we contacted Chukwuma, he told me to bring the money to the police tent at Atlas Cove.” Idowu said.
The suspects went with the money to Atlas Cove apparently to hand over the money to the police, but they were arrested by the policemen they met.
According to ACP Ibadin, the policemen led by the Sector Commander, Lagos, Onaghise Osayande, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, played along with the vandals when they offered to bribe them.
“They got four of them arrested while they were about to handover the N520,000 to them. We recovered valves with 12 different holes connected to it from them. With this kind of technological connection, these vandals can siphon over 50,000 litres in less than 30 minutes.
“We are working with the village heads to sort out members of the community, who are actually in the business and prosecute them accordingly,” he said.