The Commander of the Nigerian Navy (NN), NNS Beecroft, and Commodore Kolawole Oguntuga handed over five Tantita staff suspected to be oil thieves to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Idowu Owohunwa, on Friday for proper investigation and prosecution.
The suspects, who were reviewed by the CP at the police headquarters in Ikeja, were arrested on Thursday by a team of NNS Beecroft at Tolu community in Lekki area of Lagos. They were identified as Asonja Goddey, 28; Obajimi Oluwaseyifunmi, 38; Awoowo Aribo, 35; and Oluwadaisi Balogun, 40, who hails from Igbokoda in Ondo State; while the owner of the boat they were trying to forcibly employ, Ishola Ojubuyi, 42, was also taken into custody.
Oguntuga said, “I am here to hand over the suspect with the exhibit to Nigeria Police, Lagos Command; and these men were apprehended somewhere at Tolu Community in Ibeju Lekki in Lagos.”
According to him, a distress call was received from that community, and sporadic gunshots were heard. In our usual way, the men from the force’s operating base responded to this distress call. On getting to the waterfront, they met four men dressed in black polo shirts with Tantita at the back.
“These men were trying to forcefully collect a 300-horsepower outboard engine from a local, and they were able to apprehend and retrieve the engine.
He said, “After the arrest, they now realize that these four individuals are part of a group escorting a wooden boat, including a fiber boat.”
He said, “These four men by the shoreside beckon on the two flying boats to come over; all of a sudden, the two boats alter course and take off; and it was then the men went to the wooden boats and noticed eleven 1,000-liter GeePee Tanks with petroleum products suspected to be crude oil, which they now apprehended.”
He said, “It also reinforces the synergy between the security agencies, particularly in Lagos, to continue to work assiduously together, and we will not leave any gap for any individual or group to have their way to carry out nefarious activities, as this is just the beginning, and we will tell them enough is enough of all this mess.”
Also speaking after receiving the suspects and the exhibit, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Idowu Owohunwa, said that the security architecture in the state is firmly built between the police, the military, and intelligence state agencies and that it is a clear signal that the united forces are ready to respond and commonly deal with any group, network, or individual that wishes to test the common will of the force.