How police uncovered 12 illegal oil wells in Lagos homes

Posted by News Express | 13 August 2016 | 2,699 times

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The police in Lagos have discovered at least 12 shallow oil wells in some homes in the Ilasamaja area of the state.

The wells, which could pass for ordinary water wells, were said to have been built by landlords of the buildings to illegally scoop diesel from pipelines belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and selling to members of the public. NNPC pipelines run through the ground in the area. Some of the affected landlords even built pumping machines and bore holes to perpetrate the crime on a large scale.

Following the discovery, the Lagos State Government has now shut 12 houses in Abeokuta and Ibadan Streets in the area while the police says it has made three arrests.

State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, says a fire tanker has been stationed in the area in the event of any fire incident.

Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, says steps are being taken to shut the wells and condone off the area to forestall loss of lives and property as a result of the looming danger. He adds that a combined team from the police command, the Ministry of Environment, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, Lagos State Fire Service and Sole Administrator of Isolo Local Council Development Area carried out a thorough inspection of the entire area and discovered nothing less than 12 of the illegal oil wells.

Authorities have collected samples of the oil for further testing while further investigation is going on to determine for how long the illegal oil wells had been in operation.

“The Lagos State Government wishes to use this opportunity to remind Lagosians and the residents of these areas in particular, to assist the police with useful information and to urge them to always volunteer information before any potentially dangerous situation degenerates to public hazard,” the Commissioner for Information said.

How the oil wells were discovered

Men of the Lagos State Police Command in the area, who were on routine patrol, said they saw a woman around 12 midnight with a keg of diesel and when an attempt was made for her to be accosted, she fled, a development which alerted the police of something fishy.

The police immediately pursued the woman and accosted her, after which she eventually took them to number 12, Abeokuta Street, off Ilasamaja, one of the houses housing the illegal oil wells.

Upon getting to the said house, those inside shut the door and prevented the police from gaining entrance.

The officers thereafter left the scene with the arrested woman. They later came back disguising as potential buyers of diesel, while those inside opened the door.

It was at that point that the illegal oil well was discovered at the house, after which about ten more wells were discovered in other houses in Abeokuta and Ibadan streets. (TV360 Nigeria)

•Photo shows police officers inside one of the illegal Lagos refineries.

Source: News Express

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