A tanker allegedly abandoned by suspected vandals at the scene of pipeline explosion in the Ijegun area of Lagos was impounded in a similar operation by operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC),it was learnt yesterday.
The tanker with registration number KTU 858 XC was said to have been abandoned by the vandals when law enforcement agents were closing in on them; it later caught fire.
The explosion occurred in the wee hours of Thursday when vandals were siphoning fuel tankers from the Nigerian National Petroluem Corporation (NNPC) pipelines.
A source said: ”The tanker was impounded from suspected vandals on May 15 in the Baruwa area of Ipaja and the vehicle was taken away by civil defence operatives.
‘’It was shocking that the same vehicle was used by vandals again to siphone fuel illegally from pipeline in Ijegun. Unfortunately, the tanker caught fire while the vandals were fleeing the scene before the arrival of security operatives.”
But the Lagos State Command of NSCDC said there was no record of the tanker impounded during recent operations carried out by its operatives.
Contacted, NSCDC’s spokesman, Kehinde Bada said: ‘’ We don’t have any record relating to the said tanker. The most recent impoundment was that of a truck with registration number FST 575 XE, which had waybill issue and the matter was sorted out.
‘’No truck with registration number KTU 858 XC was impounded and later released. When trucks suspected to be carrying vandalise products are impounded, the product is handed over to NNPC while a forfeiture order is gotten from the appropriate court, and it is forfeited to the federal government.’’
Meanwhile, NNPC’s technicians were sighted fixing the vandalised pipeline, when our reporter visited the scene of the explosion on Friday afternoon.