The Police Special Task Force on Anti-Pipeline Vandalism, Force Headquarters, has arrested a 35-year-old medical doctor, Salifu Odiba and 24 others for oil pipeline vandalism.
Confirming the arrests, the officer-in-charge of the task force, Friday Ibadin, said some of the suspects were arrested in different parts of the country for operating their oil businesses without a licence.
The suspects are identified as; Onadipe Abdullateef, Samuel Oyewunmi, Samuel Okunuga, Kayode Akinsanya, Alaba Ademola, Hehinde Alagboye, Muritala Karim, Akeem Ahmed, Musiliu Azeez, Jelilat Olalekan and Elizabeth Folusho.
Others are: Ibrahim Musa, Jimoh Sesan, Afeez Azeez, Musa Adebayo, Dauda Adesina, Kareem Sani, Segun Adetayo, Seyi Olojo, Dauda Mashika, Kamilu Adedeji, Abeni Olayemi, Abia Joseph and Joseph Adekunle.
Ibadin said some of suspects were arrested in Ikorodu, Takwa Bay, Atlas Cove and Owode in Lagos State, as well as Ibafo, Igbesa, Iperu, Sagamu and Fidewo in Ogun respectively.
He said items recovered from them were two 33,000-litre trucks loaded with petroleum products, 105 (50- litres) jerry cans and 18 (25 litres) jerry cans filled with petroleum products.
Other items included 32 drums filled with petroleum products, a pumping machine and an outboard engine were also recovered.
The task force commander said: “One of the suspects, popularly known as Sesan (a.k.a Vandal) had been on the wanted list.
“He lives big in his community, but his main job is to vandalise NNPC pipelines.”
Odiba, who was recently arrested in Kogi State, said he took to illegal oil business because it was more lucrative than his profession.
The University of Jos graduate said a friend introduced him to illegal oil business and he made more money than the N90,000 he earned at the Federal Medical Centre.
He said: “The medical profession was no longer as prestigious as it used to be due to the large number of people practicing it. These days many Nigerians prefer to take self-medication.”
The suspect said he was contacted by a source at Lokoja, the state capital, who claimed to have large quantities of oil but was arrested by policemen.
Ibadin lamented that the country was losing too much money from pipeline vandalism, adding that Odiba’s case was a proof that it is not only miscreants that are into the illegitimate business.