26 October 2011, Sweetcrude, SAPELE-LARGE quantity of bitumen from the pipelines belonging to Asca Bitumen Company located in Ogorode, Sapele, Okpe council area of Delta State, late Tuesday night spilled into the sprawling residence of Nigeria’s first Finance Minister, Late Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh at his Ogorode.
The spill which was discovered in the night by the wife of a tenant in the compound has devastated both living and non living things around and within the premises having formed thick black layer asphalting everywhere with chickens, frog and rodents like rats and lizard being caught in the web and rooted to the ground.
Company Accountant who visited the seen to assess the damage decline to speak on the issue, saying that he has no authority to comment on the incident.
The bitumen company runs some of its pipelines and loading bay right behind the building of late Okotie-Ebohs home, even as some of the children have dragged the company to court over the location of their bitumen plant.
The spill was as a result of a leakage from one of the joints which the General manager of the company, Mr Karten Asher has described as unfortunate because the company have lost millions of naira worth of bitumen as a result of what he called acts of vandalism.
According to him, the pipeline was purposely opened by vandals who thought the installation was carrying NGO product to siphoned and described the action as an act of sabotage aimed to discrediting the company’s good name.
Mr Asher who was fielding questions from newsmen revealed that the action was the second time its installation was being tampered with in the recent times adding that twelve bolts were technically removed before the product at 140% was poured out.
The general manager who decried the situation but could not ascertained how much quantity of bitumen lost so far, denied knowledge of the death of animals or fowls belonging to late Okotie- Eboh’s family as a result of the vandalization and sued for the protection of the company’s installations.
On his part, Mr Godfrey Okotie- Eboh told journalists at the scene of the incidence that his attention was drawn by a tenant on the alleged spillage at about 7pm on Monday and immediately called on the company’s accountant who later came with some engineers to lock up the pipe.
Mr. Godfrey Okotie- Eboh however claimed that animals like goats, fowls, lizards and rats died as a result of the spillage saying that tenants cannot come in and goes out of their houses following the spread of the product in the compound and called on the Federal ministry of environment and DPR to come to their aid.