Twelve (12) houses located at Abeokuta and Ibadan Streets in Ilasamaja area of Lagos State were shut down yesterday by the Lagos State Government. The action was due to the discovery of shallow oil wells built by the landlords of the houses to steal diesel from pipelines belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The wells were built inside the houses for the purpose of siphoning diesel from the NNPC pipeline.
At a press briefing, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, said that the step was particularly taken to ensure the safety of lives and properties in the area, as it is very dangerous to get involved in such activities.
“The Lagos State Government wishes to use this opportunity to remind Lagosians and the residents of these areas in particular to assist the police with useful information,” the commissioner said.
“We also urge them to always volunteer information before any potentially dangerous situation degenerates to public hazard.”
Confirming the incident, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said that three (3) suspects were arrested already.
“The men of the Lagos State Police Command in the area who were on routine patrol said they saw a woman around 12 midnight with keg of diesel and when an attempt was made for her to be accosted, she fled, a development which alerted the police of something fishy,” he said.
“The police immediately pursued the woman and accosted her, after which she eventually took them to number 12, Abeokuta Street, off Ilasamaja, one of the houses housing the illegal oil wells. He added
When they got to the house however, they refused to open the door as they knew it was the police.
“The officers thereafter left the scene with the arrested woman, and they later came back disguising as potential buyers of diesel, while those inside opened the door.
“It was at that point that the illegal oil well was discovered at the house, after which about 10 more wells were discovered in other houses in Abeokuta and Ibadan streets.”