Security operatives bust petrol vandals, foil kidnap
Operatives of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) surveillance team yesterday foiled a kidnap attempt while arresting pipeline vandals in Lagos State.
One Oluwaseun Odunaike was rescued from Glonik Hotel at Social Club Road, Abule-Egba, believed to be the vandal’s hideout while a policeman and a tanker driver were arrested for alleged illegal bunkering.
Odunaike said she had been tied up in the hotel for three days by her boyfriend, who had left to use the ATM but had not returned since then. “The people that arrested everyone in the hotel heard my voice and broke the door before I was rescued this morning,” she said.
The surveillance team, which was led by one Chief Aminu A.K.A ‘King’, was on patrol when they started perceiving petrol around 2:00a.m. coming from Social Club Road. The surveillance team swung into action and traced the smell to a pipeline, which had been busted and channeled to a waiting tanker at Glonik Hotel.
According to the team leader, they had a gun battle with the suspects for several hours before they were finally overpowered. “A tanker driver and one policeman were arrested. Another policeman who was with them escaped with the hotel manager but the receptionist, the waitress and other occupants of the hotel were rounded up.
“We later discovered that the whole compound of the hotel was filled with tanks and 50-litre kegs filled with petrol. This act has been going on for a long time because their tanks had changed color as they had been storing patrol in it,” he said.
Policemen attached to Ijaye Division also responded to a distress call from the scene, which almost led to a rivalry battle between the security operatives.
The hotel receptionist, one Rachel Egbede, however told newsmen that she started working at the hotel three weeks ago after the previous employees were sacked.
“I observed that some men gather here by 10:00p.m. every night claiming they come for a meeting. Whenever I challenge them, my manager would tell me to let them be. Most times, I see policemen with them so I never suspected anything until today that I started hearing gunshot in the midnight before we were all asked to come out this morning.”
The arrested tanker driver, Waliu Tella, said he was promised N500,000 per trip before he accepted to bring his tanker to the location.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Olarinde Famous-Cole, promised to get back to our correspondent as soon as he confirms the incident, which was still expected as at press time.
Five tankers and two tanker heads were parked at the scene as the NNPC surveillance team, policemen, OP MESA team, OP AWATSE operatives and the Lagos Neighborhood Safety Corps cordoned off the area.
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