Monday, September 2, 2013
Navy arrests two Beninoise, three others over pipeline vandalism
operatives of Beecroft of the Nigerian Navy over alleged vandalism in
They were alleged to have vandalised pipeline in Makoko area of the state.
Recovered from the suspects were 270 jerricans filled with siphoned
The Benin Republic nationals, however, toldVanguardthat they were
fishermen, who fished in Nigeria's waters in company of some
Parading the suspects before newsmen, yesterday, the Base Operations
Officer, Commander Tanko Lengaya, explained that the suspects were
arrested in the early hours of Saturday following a tip-off.
He said: "Patrol boats were immediately deployed from Atlas Cove in
the process of which the suspects were intercepted at Makoko area in
two canoes loaded with 270 50-litre jerricans filled with the
siphoned products and 49 empty jerricans."
Preliminary investigation, according to him, revealed thatthe suspects
were working with vandals who, after siphoning the product, would hand
them over to the arrested suspects for onward sales to ready buyers.
He said the suspects and the exhibits would be handed over either to
the police or officials of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.
But on their parts, the suspects claimed they were fishermen who were
compelled by some vandals to take the products to the shore.
According to a 27-year-old Joten Seigi from Cotonou, Benin Republic,
"I came from Cotonou to fish in Nigeria. On that fateful day, I was in
the company of two of my friends, Segun and Victor, when we saw some
people on the sea.
"We had not even caught any fish on that day. The people told us to
help them take the filled jerricans tothe shore, saying they would pay
us N5,000. We were tempted by the amount since we had not made any
money. Barely had we loaded the boat and were on our way to the shore
that we were rounded up by some Naval personnel.
"My regret is that my parents back home are not aware of my
whereabouts. I did not even get the money promised at the end of the
day. The worste part is that those who gave us the products are
nowhere to be found, thereby leaving us to our fate."
My arrest caused by greed
On his part, Bambou Oritshebinone from Ondo State, said he would not
have been arrested but for greed.
He said: "I own the engine while Victor owns the boat. I usually rent
my engine out for N2,000. But when Victor told me he would pay N5,000,
I thought he had a lucrative business he wanted to do. So, I told him
I must join him in the deal, even though he resisted initially.
"I thought I could get more than the amount he promised to pay if I
joined him. When we got to the sea and started loading the filled
jerricans into my boat, I decided to increase the price to N7,000
which they agreed, only to be arrested mid way. Had I known, I
wouldhave remained in my house."