The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Monday in Abuja, arrested a petrol station manager, Mr Kasim Lamido, for alleged diversion of 26,700 litres of petrol.
Confirming the arrest, a Commandant of the Corps, Mr Patrick Ukpan, told newsmen in Abuja, that the perpetrator would be made to face the wrath of the law.
“There is no ignorance in law. He was caught by a special task force constituted for this purpose.
“We will charge him to court for law to take its proper course. We have arrested several persons this year and we urge others to desist from these illegal acts.
“These people have caused untold hardship to fellow Nigerians and continually sabotage the efforts of the Federal Government. If they fail to desist, the arm of the law will get them,’’Ukpan said.
A statement by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said that the station manager took delivery of 40,000 litres of petrol meant for his station, but allegedly discharged only 13, 300 litres.
The statement signed by the NNPC Spokesman, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, said the latest arrest validates its position on the issue of diversion of products.
“He discharged 13,300 litres, which is from one out of the three compartments in the truck and diverted the remaining 26,700 litres to a station in Akwanga, where it would be sold at a higher price.
“The latest arrest validates NNPC’s position that the activities of a potent petroleum products smuggling and diversion syndicate contributed immensely to the shortage being experienced in some cities.
“This has posed a challenge to the efforts by the Corporation to sanitise the fuel supply and distribution chain across the country.
“The corporation urged motorists not to engage in panic buying as it was working in collaboration with major stakeholders to eliminate the distribution hiccups that have led to the re-emergence of fuel queues.
“Motorists are advised to report any marketer selling above N145 per litre of petrol or hoarding products to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) which is statutorily empowered to deal with such issues,’’Ughmadu said.
The Manager, however, appealed for leniency, saying he regretted his action, but was forced to divert the product because of pressing financial needs.
“The company owes me N1.2 million and I have a sick wife, my rent too has expired, so, I had to resort to this. I deeply regret my action,’’he said.