The Nigerian Navy has reiterated its commitment to stamp out all form of crime and illegalities from the creeks of the Niger Deltal region.
The Commander, NNS Jubilee, Ikot Abasi, Commodore Saidu Garba, stated this at Ikot Abasi while handing over over 17 suspected oil thieves with 47,450 litres of adulterated diesel to Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps for prosecution.
Garba explained that 13 of the 17 suspects were arrested at Mobil Jetty in Ibeno Local Government, while four suspects were arrested at Ataba Community.
He said, “Let me reiterate that the Chief of Naval Staff strategic directive is aimed at stamping out all forms of illegalities and criminality in the Niger Delta region.
“It is therefore our firm resolve to vigorously pursue this agenda and rid bad elements in the region.”
The items recovered from the suspects according to him include 47, 450 litres of liquid suspected to be diesel, five Cotonou wooden boats and 188 empty drums of 250 litres each.
“These illegal activities amount to assault to the collective interest of the nation and constitute huge economic sabotage running into millions of naira” he stated.
He said the Navy will continue to provide adequate security and combat all security challenges within the nation’s maritime domain for national development.
The NSCDC commandant, Mrs. Obiageli Obiagulu, who received suspects and exhibits, commended the Navy for being an effective partner in the fight against oil theft.
Represented by Mr. Abel Ojimba, the NSCDC Divisional Officer in charge of Ikot Abasi, Obiagulu praised the Navy for its effort in ridding the state of other criminalities in the maritime domain.
She said, “We must expect the best as far as prosecution is concerned because due process has been followed in the handing over. I want to commend the Commander of NNS Jubilee for making sure that the documentations are ready.”
Obiagulu assured that the intelligence and legal departments of the corps would immediately effect thorough investigations with a view to prosecuting the defaulters.
She said the suspected products would be taken to the exhibit yard for testing and reassured that whoever was involved in the oil theft would not go scout-free.
Obiagulu assured that the command was partnering with Nigerian Navy to ensure that oil theft and other criminal activities were stamped out in the country.