Lagos oil spillage: Occupants of sealed buildings call for independent probe

NNPC repairs damaged pipe27 August 2013, Lagos – Arrested occupants of the buildings raided, weekend, by officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, where oil wells were allegedly discovered, have called for an independent body to investigate the corps claims, stating that they told the police of the oil spillage before their arrest.

Among the eight arrested suspected, were a pregnant woman, a 60-year-old man, his wife and three children.

Officials of the corps, weekend, stormed 17 and 30 Animatu Ilo Street in Ejigbo area of Lagos, where product suspected to be petrol was reportedly discovered in wells.

Consequently, the buildings were sealed and the occupants whisked away, over allegation that they dug oil wells in their compound.

Spillage reported at police station
But sources close to one of the arrested landlords identified as Adebanji Ogunba, said he (Ogunba) had earlier reported the findings to policemen at the Ejigbo division.

Describing Ogunba’s arrest and detention as inhuman, sources said: “The well was dug in 2002. But Ogunba woke up on August 10, 2013, only to discover that the compound was emitting petrol. His fears was confirmed when he fetched water from the well only to discover that it was mixed with petrol.

“He went to Ejigbo police station to report the case. Some policemen from the station came and even locked the well themselves to avoid disaster. He tried explaining to the Civil Defence personnel but they would not listen. To verify his claim, won’t it be proper for them to go to Ejigbo division?”

Sources further disclosed that the oil spillage was not peculiar to Ogunba’s well, disclosing that some wells in the area were also affected.

Police confirm report
Contacted to ascertain Ogunba’s claim, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, confirmed that Ogunba lodged a complaint at Ejigbo division.

According to Braide, “the matter was reported on August 10, where Adebanjo Ogunba, complained of oil spillage. He said they discovered oil inside the well, that it was not only him but other neighbours when they went to fetch water. He raised alarm, claiming he does not have water to use.

“So, the DPO, CSP Inoma Abbey, took action by inviting the Depot Manager, NNPC depot, Satellite Town, who came to meet the DPO and affected persons. The depot manager said he was going to send engineers from the concerned department to inspect the wells before they would know what to do. So the matter is still under investigation at our end.”

– Evelyn Usman, Vanguard

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