Olawale Ibrahim , Lokoja
No fewer than five suspected pipeline vandals who have been engaged in bunkering have escaped from Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) cell in Lokoja, Kogi State.
It was gathered that uneasy calm has pervaded the Kogi State Command of the NSCDC as some officers may have been allegedly fingered for aiding and abetting the escape of the five suspects from the cell after been heavily induced.
Source hinted that five suspects namely, Hassan Sani, Auwal Mohamed, Mohamed Mustapha , Mudashiru Abubakar and Ibrahim Rabiu were arrested by the anti vandals unit of the corps for bunkering and pipeline vandalise along Abuja- Lokoja highway last Thursday.
The suspects were said to have successfully carried out the bunkering business in the Niger Delta region and were ferrying the products to the north in two big trucks when they were accosted by the anti vandals unit of NSCDC
During interrogation, they were said to have confessed that the products which consist of petrol, diesel and kerosene were illegally scooped in a forest from a pipeline in one of the oil-rich states.
The suspects were said to have been detained for further investigations at their state command headquarters situated by the state secretariat, Lokoja.
It was however discovered that by the following morning, the five suspects had escaped from the cell with the aid of some of the officers in the command.
A source who pleaded anonymity explained that there is a notorious syndicate in the command who specialises in collecting bribe from suspects and aiding them to escape.
In his words, “The suspects cannot escape on their own without the aid of these officers because the wall of the cell is so high that it will be very difficult to break.
“We understand that one of the suspects in the cell gave a phone number of a certain fellow who in turn reached out to some of our men that facilitated their escape,” the source said.
It was learnt that the guard in charge of the cell whose name was given as Aliu Sunday was dead drunk on the fateful day.
When contacted, the state commandant, Samuel Peter Maigari confirmed the incident, stressing that those on duty during the cell break be detained while a full discreet investigation be conducted to fish out those who aided the escape.