Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Soldiers attached to the Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe, yesterday set ablaze two cars containing several jerry cans of diesel in Jeremi, Ughelli South.
The troops said they also arrested the culprit, one Mr. Kesiena Oloya, whom they accused of attempting to bribe them with N29,500.
Lt. Cmdr Thomas Otuji, spokesman of the security outfit in the Niger Delta, told journalists that Oloya’s arrest was sequel to the rescue of a kidnap victim, Chief Matron of Ughelli Central Hospital, one Mrs. Patience Abere, who was picked from her residence in Ughelli North Local Government Area, Delta State.
The matron, the JTF said, was abducted by three notorious armed men in her Kia Soul car with registration number AS 609 UGH.
“One of the suspects, Mr. Innocent Egboboh was apprehended while two fled on sighting troops. Two locally made pistols and 3 live cartridges were recovered from the criminals,” Otuji said.
The spokesman added that the soldiers burnt the two vehicles in which the containers of petroleum were conveyed after the suspect attempted to bribe the men of the task force.
“Mr Kesiena Oloya was conveying 35 x 25 litres jerry cans filled with substance suspected to be illegal AGO along Jeremi junction in Ughelli South.
“Items impounded include 2x Vento cars with registration number GB 393 AA, BUR 151 AA and a Nokia mobile phone. The suspect attempted bribing troops with the sum of N29,500.
“He was arrested and handed over to Nigeria Police, ‘A’ Division Headquarters, Ughelli and vehicles set ablaze,” he said.
Similarly, he said troops of Sector 1 also trailed and arrested suspected kidnappers, one Mr Simon Agbabule and his accomplice at Okwugbude Community in Okpe Local Government Area, Delta State.
“The criminals were on their way to kidnap a victim when troops monitored and swung on them. Items recovered include; 1 x AK 47 rifle, 2 x magazines and 49 x 7.62 millimeters (special) ammunition,” he noted.
The JTF disclosed that troops during ‘static operations’ also arrested one Mr. Salisu Mohammed Zayyan, a driver of a petroleum tanker marked Iveco with inscription of a major petroleum marketer (CONOIL) with registration number, Katsina KNK 151 XA containing 33,000 litres of substance suspected to be illegally refined diesel.
“The truck was intercepted at Otovwodo in Ughelli North Local Government Area. The Suspect confirmed to have illegally loaded the product from Port Harcourt and was heading to Zamfara State. The way bill indicated CONOIL PMS whereas he was carrying suspected diesel.
During the operation, he said soldiers also intercepted two white Hilux vehicles and another marked WWR 24 AL carrying 8 x 300 litres and 12 x 60 litres of Plastic drums and jerry cans of suspected illegal refined diesel.
“The intention of the occupants of the vehicles as revealed was to evade being checked by troops because of escort tags on the plate number.
“However, troops’ diligence led to their arrest along Kwale Asaba Expressway, Ndokwa West Local Government Area, Delta State. The three occupants arrested suspects purportedly working with Ichoghe Resources Limited are being interrogated,” he said.