The stations ─ Ododo and Conoil ─ were alleged to have bought products suspected to have been stolen from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation pipeline in the Epe area of Lagos state.
The managers of the stations were also arrested along with other workers of the stations by task force officials who were said to have stormed the place following a tip-off.
The arrested managers are Tope Olaniyi, Alabi Olagunla and Adeleke Adetoro, who was said to be the supplier of the stolen petroleum products.
Olaniyi told policemen that the transaction was concluded by his boss.
He said, “On July 13, my boss called me that a tanker was heading for our station. He told me to pay the owners of the tanker as soon as they finished discharging the product.
“It was while they were discharging the product that the policemen stormed the station and arrested us. I am only an errand boy, the person who is guilty here is my boss, not me.”
Olagunla, however, said he had no knowledge that the product was stolen.
He said, “The supplier, Adeleke, came to my office that he had petrol and would sell it at N90 per littre. We are here to make gains, so I accepted the offer. My only mistake was that I did not ask for the way bill. I was shocked when police officers stormed my office with Adeleke in handcuff, alleging that the product that we bought was stolen from the NNPC pipeline in Epe. I was desperate to make money and forgot to confirm the source of the product.”
The supplier, Adeleke, admitted that the products were stolen, but pleaded that he should be forgiven.
The Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the task force, Mr. Friday Ibadin, said detectives acted on intelligence report that suspected vandals were on their way to discharge petrol stolen from the NNPC pipeline in Epe.
He said, “The task force, officials, led by the Lagos Sector Commander, DSP Samson Olawoyin, tracked them down to Conoil and Ododo fuel stations in Ikorodu while they were discharging the product. We are still on the trail of one Badewa Bola, the owner of the Conoil fuel station, who disappeared when he got information that policemen visited his office. Both stations have been shut down.”
– The Punch