Oil Spill Victims Abandon Their Homes For Fear Of Being Arrested

file: a site of an oil spill
file: a site of an oil spill

Residents of Aminatu Ilo Street, Ejigbo, Lagos, where oil spillage occurred last weekend, have abandoned their apartments for fear of being molested by security agents, after some residents have been arrested by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence corps, NSCDC, who residents said turned deaf ears to the explanation of those arrested.

The gates of the buildings on numbers 17 and 30 on the street where the spillage was recorded were still locked when Vanguard visited the place.

A resident who identified himself to Vanguard as Ayo Oke, said many of them had gone into hiding for fear of being arrested.

“The arrest of the landlord of the house where the spillage was noticed has instilled fear on the people. This is because the man noticed the spillage and reported to the Police. He was arrested along with some members of his household. Who knows the next person to be arrested? That is why many of us are in hiding. The government should resolve the issue quickly.”

In an earlier statement, Depot Manager of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Ejigbo, Dr. Tola Balogun, said two samples of the leakage had been taken for laboratory test to ascertain the true nature of the spill, but complained about the refusal of security operatives to open the site, which he said has been stopping the corporation from getting more samples.

He also said the spill was discovered in a well belonging to one Adedeji Ogunba, who reported to the police at Ejigbo when he noticed it, saying officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, last Saturday, stormed the affected compounds and arrested the people, including a pregnant woman.

The recent oil spill is not the first in the area, as Baruwa Community, in Alimosho Local Government Area also experienced similar occurences in May 2012.

Lawyers of the arrested residents have threatened to sue the NSCDC for unlawful detention of their clients and refusal to release them on bail, despite their innocence.