29 July 2015, Ughelli – The two suspects arrested by security agents in connection with the explosion that rocked an oil pipeline belonging to the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, NPDC at Ighwrenene community, Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, have stated that they blew up the pipeline in a bid to coax NPDC into awarding them a pipeline surveillance contract.
The suspects identified as Dennis Oneya aka ‘General Touch’ and Emmanuel Joseph aka Ajegunle, both of Uduere and Afiesere communities respectively, told newsmen at the 222 Battalion headquarters, Agbarha-Otor that they embarked on the mission having being promised job slots by their sponsors when awarded the contract.
Speaking on their modus operandi, while Dennis Oneya admitted digging the spot on the pipeline to be bombed in company of others, Emmanuel Joseph described himself as an expert in handling of dynamites used in the explosion as well as other similar blasts.
Parading the suspects before newsmen, JTF spokesman, Lt. Col. Isa Ado explained that the suspects have confessed to the crime and would be handed over for prosecution to the appropriate authorities after investigation has been concluded.
Ado further stated that the suspects also hinted that the explosion was the outcome of a meeting at an undisclosed hotel in Ughelli were it was agreed that they should embark on the act to hasten the approval of the said contract by NPDC.
He noted that while efforts are on to arrest fleeing members of the gang, a Toyota Hilux vehicle and one pump action gun with 77 live cartridges were recovered from the suspects.