The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) wednesday sealed Oando filling station in Lekki, Lagos, over alleged hoarding of petrol and molestation of DPR personnel.
DPR’s Deputy Director and Head of Downstream Division, Mr. Usman Ndanusa, who led the team said the operator of the station, Mr. Basiru Fakorede, molested DPR staff on inspection to his station on December 7.
Ndanusa said the agency sanctioned the station to show the world that it had zero tolerance for manhandling of its staff.
“When the monitoring team of DPR visited the station on December 7, they were not selling the product to motorists.
“They challenged the station manager and attendants on the reason why they were not selling the product when there were 32,000 litres underground tanks.
“At this juncture, the staff started molesting the DPR staff.
“We cannot stand for that because if we allow it to go unchecked, our staff will not be free from performing their duty.
“If DPR staffs are being molested by all filling stations in this country, then we won’t be doing any inspection.
“To forestall a future reoccurrence, we now decided to do a monitor sales and seal the station after exhausting the product,” he said.
The Deputy Director said his staff would be on ground to make sure that all 58,650 litres of petroleum in the underground tanks were sold to motorists before sealing the station.
“If there is no scarcity of fuel, we will have sealed the station outright but because of scarcity we want to monitor the sales and ensure that all the petroleum are sold to motorists.
“So, the dealer will be invited to our office to defend his action, if he is able to justify his actions, we will unseal his station.
“But if not, the department may revoke his licence.
“The department has written Oando management to stop supply to the station until he is able to justify his action,” he said.
However, Fakorede, in his defence, appealed to DPR to temper justice with mercy over his action.
Fakorede denied molesting any of DPR staff, adding that they were selling product when his station was visited on December 7.
He said he never denied any of their staff access to his station knowing fully that they have right to inspect filling stations nationwide.
“I expected the management of DPR to invite me to their office after the incidence but I was surprised to see them coming to seal my station.
“I have been selling the product to motorists since yesterday because of long queue of vehicles.
“This is not the right time to seal my filling station because motorists will feel the impact, this is the only station that sell products 24/7 and I’m sure it will really affect the motorists here,” he said.