The Lagos State Government on Friday shut 12 houses in Abeokuta and Ibadan Streets in Ilasamaja area of the State over discovery of shallow oil wells built by landlords to illegally scoop diesel from pipeline belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
oil wells were said to have been built for the purpose of illegally
scooping diesel and selling same to members of the public, while some of
the affected landlords built pumping machine and bore hole to
perpetrate the crime on a large scale.
The State's Commissioning
for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde who confirmed this
while briefing newsmen at the Lagos House, Ikeja, said the step to shut
the wells and condone off the area was taken by government to forestall
loss of lives and property as a result of the looming danger.
who addressed journalists alongside top government functionaries and
the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, said 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.
He said that initial
investigation revealed that a few of the landlords where the wells are
located were taking advantage of the situation by commercializing the
He said that samples of the substance have been
taken for immediate investigation in order to determine the true nature
of the substance as well as the root cause of this usually occurrence.
He said the State Government was working with the NNPC for further investigation.
said that for the safety of residents, especially on Abeokuta and
Ibadan Streets, the affected well have been sealed off, adding that the
government would also work with those who are likely to be displaced as a
result of the development.
“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,” he said.
speaking the Commissioner of Police confirmed the arrest of three
suspects in the operation, adding that a fire tanker has been stationed
in the event of any fire incident.
The men of the Lagos State
Police Command in the area who were on routine patrol said they saw a
woman around 12 midnight with 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.
officers thereafter left the scene with the arrested woman, and 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.
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
AUGUST 12, 2016