“We forge Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) waybills, invoices of major oil marketers and stickers of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG), to deceive security agents.”
Those were the words of suspected vandals arrested by the Inspector General of Police Taskforce on pipeline vandalism. Among the four suspects paraded at the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters annex, Lagos, were Ganiyu Oresanya ( 38), Mutiu Bello also known as Omo Oja, and one Damilare, who had fake copies of Oando, Conoil and MRS’ invoices, as well as fabricated NNPC waybill in their possession.
They were reportedly arrested in Ikorodu following intelligence report that they were carrying out operations in Shagamu and Ikorodu. The suspects were caught while on their way to Ondo State to sell petroleum products they siphoned from NNPC pipelines in Shagamu and Ikorodu. Oresanya, who acknowledged that he has been in the business of vandalism for sometime, said he was in charge of forging the relevant documents.
“We make sure that we do the background work of covering our loading with fake NNPC documents and fake invoice from oil marketing companies so that we would not be caught.“I have been in the business for a long time. I am a printer and I print these documents myself. I did not know we would be caught because we are very careful in our jobs by backing the stolen products with all necessary documents.“I supply all the fake documents, while Mutiu Bello produces the tanker that comes to carry the products from the pipeline.“Damilare is the one who load the products. He is our boss,” he said.
For Bello, who claimed he was contracted to load the products into another truck, said he was not aware the products were stolen. He claimed that one Temidayo invited him and he was offered N70, 000 for the job.
“This is my first time and I was promised N70,000. It was one Temidayo who called me for the job. They didn’t tell me that it was stolen oil. “They said I was going to trans-load products from jerry cans at that area. They told me they are into black market operation but when I got there, I saw plenty Jerry cans,” he claimed.
Addressing reporters, the Taskforce’s Sector Commander, Solomon Ubani, said the Force has recorded major breakthroughs recently following improved intelligence.
“We have made breakthrough in the past few days. We have rejiged our intelligence for some time now and it is yielding results. “These hoodlums have continued to break our pipelines and sabotage the efforts of the Federal government,” Ubani stated.