A 19-year-old fisherman turned suspected oil thief, Chemede Anre, who was paraded along with five other accomplices, at the Lagos State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Ikeja, has confessed to his involvement in illegal oil bunkering, saying his mother introduced him to the crime. His accomplices include, Ibrahim Kwenu, 23; Savig Videjon, 20; Celestine Soru, 20; Simon Posu, 22, and 21-year-old Lekan Wesu.
Anre said his mother took him to one Savie, the mastermind of the crime, when he could no longer cater to his wife and child. He added that he was compelled to join Savie because he was not catching enough fish due to drought.
They were said to be ferrying 86 drums of petrol, suspected to have been siphoned from vandalised pipelines of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, to Benin Republic, when they were intercepted on the sea, around Topo, Badagry, Lagos State. Each of the drums reportedly contained 250 litres of the product.
Speaking with The Punch, Anre, who was the boat captain, said he regretted heeding his mother’s advice, adding that Savie, who was at large, had promised to pay him and members of his crew N4,000 each.
He said, “I am a fisherman, but it has been very difficult to catch fish in the sea these days because of drought. When it became difficult to take care of my family, my mother introduced me to Savie.
"He (Savie) asked me to help him transport the fuel from Badagry to Asipa in Seme. I invited five other fishermen to carry out the job and he promised to give us N4,000 each after the deal. We were on the way to deliver the product to him when we were arrested. I know what I did was wrong and I regret my action. It was hunger that forced me into it."