By Senator IroegbuÂ in AbujaÂ
The Nigerian Police has paraded 13 principal suspects it arrested for constant vandalism of Pipelines, destruction of oil and gas facilities and illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta region of the country.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, while parading the suspects in Abuja yesterday, said the serious criminal acts were worrisome because of the consequences of economic hardship, damage to public infrastructures, and loss of Government, Private and Public huge investments in the oil sector.Â
Idris said that it was in order to halt the trend of wanton destruction of lives and properties in a critical sector of the economy that he reorganised and empowered the Task Force on illegal petroleum bunkering to decisively tackle these criminals, their collaborators and sponsors.Â
He said the first case was the arrest of suspected crude oil pipeline vandals in Kaduna State. He listed Isa Ibrahim, Sani Usman, Hosea Danjuma, Aminu Salisu as those arrested after an intense trail by the operatives of the Special Task Force on Petroleum Illegal Bunkering (STFPIB) on May p1, 2018 in their hideout in Kaduna State.Â
Â According to the IGP, the suspects confessed to have vandalised crude oil pipeline near Kakau Village in Kaduna State on 26/04/2018 and in the process siphoned 11, 400 Litres of crude oil which they in turn sold at N580,000.00 to their sponsors. Â
“They have made useful statements and admitted to the crime. Effort is being intensified to arrest other suspects at large who are involved in the crime. Suspects will be arraigned in court on completion of investigations,” he added.Â
Â The Police boss also paraded the arrested suspects of crude oil pipeline vandals in Niger State. He said that on April 27, 2018 at aboutÂ 02. 30pm, “the Special Task Force on Petroleum Illegal Bunkering (STFPIB) surveillance patrol team acting on a tip-off intercepted and arrested Umar Abubakar, Aminu muhammed, Ismaila Jimoh (driver), Oni Ajibade, Musa Mohammed, Abubakar Usman while in the process of breaking the NNPC pipeline around Bonu village in Guarara LGA of Niger State. The vandalised NNPC pipeline runs through Izon NNPC pump station to Minna NNPC Depot.Â
Recovered from them were One Mercedes Benz Actross 3335 Tanker Truck with registration No. KJA 373 XN, One Peugeot 407 Saloon car with Reg. No. ABJ 37 BK”.
Idris said the third gang members listed above were arrested on 26 April, 2018 at aboutÂ 6pmÂ by operatives of the IGP-STFPIB while on waterway patrol along Benneth community riverine area of Warri South, Delta State.Â
He said they were arrested on the high sea while conveying the stolen product to Warri south in Delta State. Recovered from them were One (1) speed Boat and Twenty Six (26) Jerry-cans of 25 litres containing Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) product suspected to be from WRPC/PPMC.Â
“All the suspects admitted and confessed to the various criminal roles they played in the commission of the crime. Investigation is in progress and effort is being intensified to arrest other suspects still at large. All suspects will be arraigned in court on completion of investigation,” he said.
He called for continuous cooperation and support from Nigerians to the Police personnel deployed throughout the Country.Â
He assured that the commitment of the Nigeria Police Force to secure and safe environment for economic growth and developments across the Country remained unequivocal and unwavering.