The Nigerian Navy, NNS Victory Calabar on Wednesday, handed over eight persons suspected to be involved in the illegal conveyance of oil to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Uyo Zonal Office, including 105 drums of petrol and boat used for the illegal activity.
The suspects arrested onboard the boat include Godwin Eden (Nigerian), Justice Ebanga (Nigerian), Effiong Gilbert (Nigerian), Manasseh Obani (Nigerian), Ambe Festus (Cameroonian), Alpha Emmanuel (Cameroonian), Sakwe Felix (Cameroonian) and Vasco Mekora (Cameroonian).
In a statement, by Naval Commander M.D. Fefa who handed over the suspects to the EFCC, stated that the arrest was made on April 28, by a patrol team from his Command.
“My men intercepted the wooden boat ladened with drums of Premium Motor Spirit PMS, concealed under plastic drums of palm oil, at Oron Bar along the Calabar waterways, while they were transiting to Cameroon,” he said.
While receiving the suspects, Victor Ikang, Head, Extractive Industry Fraud Section, EIFS of the EFCC Uyo office, gave the assurance that the Commission remained poised to rid the nation of illegal dealing in petroleum products which has so far affected the Nigerian economy negatively.
“The EFCC is determined to enforce its mandate while collaborating with other security agencies like the Navy in ensuring that the Nations waterways are safe and secured,” he said, stressing that the culprits will be duly prosecuted.
In another development, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, released its monthly financial and operations report for January in a twitter post which reveals an 11 per cent decrease in oil theft occurred in January putting the number of vandalised oil pipelines at 230 hacked pipeline points, leaving only two ruptured.
Compared to 264 vandalised points posted in December 2018 which reflects a remarkable reduction in pipelines vandalisation.
A breakdown of the report indicates that Mosimi-Ibadan, Ibadan-Ilorin and Aba-Enugu pipelines accounted for 67, 62 and 30 points which translates to 29 per cent, 27 per cent and 13 per cent of the vandalised points.
“The Warri-River Niger axis accounted for 10 per cent and other locations accounted for the remaining 21 per cent of the pipeline breaks,’’ the report stated.
Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.