Two Azman filling station managers and six illegal fuel hawkers have been arrested by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC special task force monitoring the fuel crisis in Abuja.
This was disclosed in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES, signed by the Group General Manager, Group Public affairs division or the corporation, Ndu Ughamadu, on Wednesday.
Currently, major streets of Abuja, including high brow areas where establishments such as the NNPC towers and the Nigeria Police Headquarters are located have been besieged by tens of fuel hawkers, who brazenly display their wares to harried motorists who cannot stand the pressure of unending queues at filling stations across the city.
The statement said the two managers of Azman filling stations in Nyanya and Kuje, two suburbs in Abuja, were arrested after 'close monitoring' by the team for diverting trucks of petrol meant for their stations to unknown destinations.
The quantity of the petrol diverted is 66,000 litres, the statement revealed.
"They have been handed over to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC for prosecution.
In addition to prosecution, the filling stations would pay a N250 fine for each litre of petrol diverted, the statement said.
Six illegal hawkers of petrol were also arrested in the Central Business District of Abuja, for hawking petrol in jerry-cans.
"Three of the arrested persons (Samila Umar, Atlahim Abdullahi and Bashir Sani) were charged and prosecuted at the Area Court, Gudu, where Justice Sidi Bello sentenced them to two-month imprisonment or a N2,000 fine which they promptly paid.
"The other three who were arrested yesterday are expected to be charged today," the statement revealed.
The scarcity of petrol has persisted for more than two months despite serial ultimatums by the federal government and National Assembly and feeble responses by the state owned oil firm.