There was pandemonium on Ibadan and Abeokuta streets in the Ilasamaja area of Lagos State on Friday after the police discovered about 10 houses which dug wells linked to oil pipelines through which diesel was siphoned.
Punch correspondent learnt that residents and police operatives, including the state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, stormed the houses and saw jerrycans filled with diesel extracted from the wells.
When Punch correspondent got to the area, occupants of the houses were asked to evacuate to prevent fire disaster.
Officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and policemen from the Ilasamaja division were observed trying to cordon off the houses.
A policeman told Punch that operatives discovered the illegal oil wells after going undercover to buy diesel.
He said, “The Divisional Police Officer and her men were patrolling the area about 4am and saw some residents coming out with jerrycans of diesel from those houses. The policemen pretended they also wanted to buy diesel and that was how the suspects were arrested.
“So far, four landlords have been arrested. Others are on the run but the tenants in those houses are being quizzed to show their level of complicity.”
Some of the suspects arrested are identified as Moji Adesina, 45, Chinyere Nnaji, 27, and Tayo Agboola, 40.
Nnaji said she had not been fetching from the well since diesel was diverted there, adding that she was just a tenant.