Okon Bassey in Uyo
Three suspected militants have been arrest by the Police in Akwa Ibom State with high caliber bombs capable of sinking any ship, boat, building or destroy pipelines.
The State Commissioner of Police, Murtala Mani who paraded them Friday at the state Police Headquarters, Ikot Akpan-abia said the suspects were arrested on August 18, 2016 through intelligent report.
Mani who briefed newsmen on the development through the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Command, Cordelia Nwawe said the suspects were arrested at Modern City Hotel, in Eket local government area of the state.
The State Police boss gave the names of the suspected militants as Nelson Seimiyefa aged 34 from Bayelsa State, Victor Emmanuel Williams aged 34 from Etinan local government area of Akwa Ibom and Nseobong Dickson aged 38 from Eket local government area also of Akwa Ibom State.
Mani said bombs recovered from the suspected militants included two high power IED bombs measured 60/80.5 cm, 44/5.5 cm respectively; and one long single high power propel launcher bomb measuring 78/4.55cm.
The arrest of the suspected militants came just as a seven day ultimatum given by a new militant group in the Niger Delta “Oyobio-Oyobio” to Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited to relocate its headquarters to Akwa Ibom or face dire consequences expired.
“We had intelligence report on August 18, 2016. And in a swift reaction the police intercepted a group of young suspected militants who had actually planned to vandalise pipelines in Akwa Ibom State.
“The three militants have been found and the command has been able to find two high power IED bombs measured at 60/80.5 cm, 44/5.5 cm respectively. One long single high power propel launcher bomb measured at 78/4.55cm.
“The bombs are capable of destroying from any length and height, pipeline, oil lines and capable of taking human live. It is unacceptable”, he declared.
The commissioner maintained that the State Police Command under his leadership was highly very proactive saying the anti-robbery squad, SARS section, anti-kidnapping, Highway Patrol all had clear directives to make sure people who did not go about legal businesses in Akwa Ibom were found.
“It is a promise to keep Akwa Ibom Safe. That is why we are sending the warning to people if you know you do not belong here stay away from Akwa Ibom because no matter how fast you are we are going to be faster than you and go ahead of you”, he stated.
All the three suspects denied involvement in the crime, saying they were wrongly accused and arrested by the Police.
Seimiyefa from Bayelsa State said he came to see his girlfriend whom both planned to marry and were lodging at Modern City Hotel Eket where he was arrested.
“I am not a criminal if you call my family they will confirm I am not a criminal. I visited a girlfriend we plan to marry. The mask on my face was given to me by the police to wear.
“I am innocent, God is my witness. I am doing fish farming work in Port Harcourt. I came from Port Harcourt to Lodge in the hotel”, he said.
Also defending himself, Dickson from Eket said he was in the Modern City Hotel watching football match which started from 8 pm till 10pm.
“The owner of the hotel knows me. Police gave me the water proof for me to cover as mask. I am not one of those that plan to bomb oil pipe lines. I am a builder by profession”, he said
On his part, Williams from Etinan said he attended counsel section with his pastor and at the end of the counsel the pastor sent him to someone to collect money for him at the Modern City Hotel where the pastor lodged.
“When I got to the hotel I spent some time to watch football match at the end the pastor asked me to sleep in the hotel since it was late in the night.
“I was in the hotel when the police came and knock on my door and drag me out. I am a contractor I supply building materials. I am not a militant and not aware of any threat to bomb Mobil.
“My pastor called them and he told them that he asked me to lodge in the hotel. The name of the church is The Lord City Church. It was just a coincidence”, he insisted.
A new militant group in the Niger Delta “Oyobio-Oyobio” had last weekend issued the ultimatum in a release signed by one of its officials General Obuma.
“We the Niger Delta Militants known as OYOBIO-OYOBIO hereby give a 7 day ultimatum to Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited and other Oil Firms operating in Akwa Ibom to relocate their headquarters to the State or face dire consequences.
“We have the capability to burn down any tank farm and bring down airplanes and choppers. Oil and Gas Pipelines will not be spared during our operations,” the statement had said.
It also asked ExxonMobil to carry out thorough clean-up of the environment as was being done in Ogoni land by Shell Petroleum.
The group called on all oil workers in the state operating onshore and offshore locations to stay away from work after the seven day ultimatum for their safety.
“Workers in oil companies operating in Akwa Ibom should stay away from work after the 7 days ultimatum for their safety.” It said.