Friend lured me into pipeline vandalism- Suspect


WEDNESDAY, October 9, 2013 is a date Akinwale Okunola, 35, will never forget in a hurry. The young trailer driver had a date with history in his effort to make ends meet through a friend he met in his struggle to get a job.

Akinwale, who is jobless, had only met his business friend, Kazeem, for about 20 minutes on his way home. He informed Crime & Security that he met Kazeem under an overhead bridge at Olorunsogo on a rainy night.

According to Akinwale, it was under that bridge while waiting for the rain to stop that he overheard Kazeem talking about haulage transaction on the phone, saying that “as someone who is jobless, immediately he finished talking on the phone, I went to him, discussed and we exchanged our mobile numbers.”

Few days after the meeting, Kazeem put a call through to Akinwale to join him on a business trip.

“Some days after we met, he called me that there was a business they were about going for in Ilorin if I could join him. Why wouldn’t I join though I never knew it was this type of business because on that day I only had less than N100 on me. I joined him at Iwo-road, around 20 minutes or thereafter we took off. He actually told me that we were going to Ilorin to load fuel.

“When we got to Odo-Oba, he told me that we’d have to see some guys around the place. At that point I knew something was fishy but there was nothing I could do at that time. So when the Civil Defence officers came, they all escaped including Kazeem but I didn’t know anywhere to run to,” Akinola said.

Speaking with journalists on how the suspect was nabbed, NSCDC Oyo State Command, Mr Shem Obafaiye, said the suspect was caught at Odo-Oba, Ogbomoso South Local Government scooping fuel from a pipeline.

He added that the suspect and his cohorts had succeeded in scooping 22,000 litres of fuel into the 33,000 tanker they brought to the scene.

Obafaiye noted that “the suspect was nabbed in a joint operation of the NSCDC officers and Operation Burst. They had loaded two faces out of the three faces of the 33,000 litres tanker before they were caught. The suspect will be charged to court.”

When asked on the effort of the command at nabbing the real sponsors of these vandals, Obafaiye said “from our intelligence report, we gathered that there are six oil barons in Ibadan, we’ve arrested three of them while others are on the run. We will not relent in protecting the treasures of the Federal Government in a civil manner.”