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Four suspected oil thieves arrested

11 September 2013, 12:29

Enugu - The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Enugu State on Tuesday arrested four suspects for alleged oil theft.

The NSCDC Commandant, Nathaniel Ubong, presented the suspects to newsmen in Enugu.

Ubong said the suspects were arrested on September 5 at Ozalla Junction on Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, while off-loading 28 drums containing 5 600 litres of adulterated diesel.

He said its surveillance and intelligence unit made arrest, adding that the drums were hidden in a truck meant for conveying drinks.

He said that punishment meted to oil theft was not commensurate with the crime, saying that efforts were being made to review the laws.

The commandant said the illegality experienced in oil business was no longer business as usual as the corps had been equipped to fight the menace in the country.

"We will ensure that there is no vandalism of government oil pipelines. We will not allow people take laws into their hands.

"They were caught at a nearby bush off-loading the drums behind four-corners on Enugu-Port-Harcourt Expressway,’’ he said.

He noted that the suspects would be charged to court.

One of the suspects, Nnamdi Onyemelukwe, alleged that his associate named Shola, a petroleum dealer based in Port-Harcourt gave him the diesel to sell in Enugu.

Onyemelukwe, who said the business, would have fetched him over N600 000 called on other perpetrators of the crime to desist from the act.

"This is a local refined product from Nembe Waterside in Port-Harcourt. We bought the product at N19 000 each and are supposed to sell them in Enugu for N24 000 each per drum,’’ he said.

The driver of the truck, Brown Ajuzie, denied involvement in the crime, saying it was his fellow driver that lured him into the business.

"I was called by a fellow driver to carry some drums to Enugu and when I asked him what was inside, he told me that it is the chemical for making local gin (Kai Kai).

"I agreed to carry it to Enugu and I am supposed to get 70 000 from the business,’’ he said.

Chibuzor Nwankwo, a loader and Kenneth Okpara, conductor of the truck also denied any involvement in the crime.

-  NAN


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