Lagos - The Inspector-General of Police’s Special Task Force on Pipeline Vandalism said on Friday that it had uncovered a well filled with crude oil in a compound in Kogi State.
The Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in charge of the task force, Friday Ibadin, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the well was located at Gegu in Koton Karfe Local Government Area.
Ibadin said that some persons, including a woman, were arrested and released after interrogation.
According to him, the house, which belongs to a man, simply identified as Malam Mohammed is located 30 metres from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipeline in the area.
He said that the owner of the facility escaped as soon as he learnt that policemen were in his premises.
He added that several overhead tanks that belonged to one Alhaji Suleiman were recovered.
The ACP said that Suleiman claimed he woke up and discovered that all his overhead tanks were filled with crude oil.
"On Aug. 22, 2013, we got an intelligence report that some individuals were carting away gallons of crude oil from a village in Kogi State.
"Policemen led by a Deputy Superintendent of Police, Dawn Eremie, stormed the premises and discovered a well filled with crude oil.
"Empty kegs were also spotted in the compound. The owner of the house disappeared while his wife, whom my men met, claimed that they discovered that their well was filled with crude oil.
"She admitted that they made attempts to scoop the oil in a bid to get clean water for domestic use.
"In the course of investigation, it was also discovered that the nearby pure (sachet) water factory belonging to Suleiman had tanks filled with crude oil.
"He claimed he alerted neighbors who lined up with their kegs to collect what they described as blessing from God to them.
"They were still scrambling to get their share when police stormed the area,’’ Ibadin said.
The police chief said that investigation was ongoing, while they were on the trail of the owner of the house now at large.
He commended the boldness of the informant who alerted the police, describing the person as a lifesaver.
"We will continue to sensitise the people to the reason why they should not develop houses on NNPC right of way,” Ibadin added.