Some of the suspected Lagos pipeline vandals were arrested.
Suspected pipeline vandals at Majidun, Lagos, on Monday engaged officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, in a gun battle to avoid arrest.
One person was suspected dead, while 60 others were arrested in the aftermath of the clash.
Motorists were attacked and robbed while some Rapid Bus Transit buses were vandalized as hoodlums cashed in on the ensuing pandemonium.
Following a tip off, armed NSCDC officers had raided the Ikorodu community on Sunday night; but were repelled by the vandals who were also armed with guns and machetes.
A reinforced team of the security officers returned to the community on Monday and overpowered the vandals.
Shem Obafaiye, a Commandant of the NSCDC, said that about seven of his men were “seriously injured” after they engaged the hoodlums in a “battle for battle.”
“Last night (on Sunday), we had information that these people were operating illegally. Some of my men went there at night and they were almost killed. They blocked my men with tanker and some other vehicles and wanted to kill them by setting them ablaze,” said Mr. Obafaiye.
“My men were able to make some progress this morning again and we got the information that they are back to the place, so I had to mobilise my people to go again and they went. It was battle for battle,” he added.
Majidun community is known for its sand dredging activities, but pipeline vandalism has also become a common feature in the Lagos suburb where community heads sometimes allegedly collude with the vandals in oil bunkering.
Mr. Obafaiye said that the suspects would be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
“We are to expect more of these arrests because this is the assignment I was sent to Lagos for,” Mr. Obafaiye said.
However, some of the suspects denied ownership of the recovered weapons as well as being involved in pipeline vandalism.
Most of them said that they were sand dealers in the area.
“I trade on sand and this is not my first time of coming to the village to buy sand, I was carrying out this transaction when the officers came arrested all the men there and asked the women to leave the area,” said Ganiyu Adeniji, one of the suspects.
“I don’t even have any knowledge that something like that was going on there before, what I came there for was to buy sand which is what I do for a living and I have been doing this for many years,” he added.
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