Alleged $170m Fraud: Disgruntled Oil Cartel Behind Campaign of Calumny Against Ogalla

Alleged $170m Fraud: Disgruntled Oil Cartel Behind Campaign of Calumny Against Ogalla

Juliet Akoje in Abuja

The Civil Society for Peace, Security and Development (CSPSD) has alleged that disgruntled oil thieves are behind the campaign of calumny against the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla.

The Convener of the group, Obadiah Ovye, while addressing a press conference on Friday in Abuja said the Nigerian media space was recently awash with the most bizarre and unfounded campaign of calumny against Ogalla with allegations of collecting bribes to the tune of $170 millions to facilitate crude oil theft in connivance with foreign nationals.

It noted that while it was almost a waste of resources and man-hours to join issues with merchants of falsehood and deceit, it was constrained by its mandate of fostering peace, security and development in the society to set the records straight.

It stated: “Credible intelligence at our disposal has it that a cartel of notorious crude oil thieves whose illicit business has been grounded by the tight security and tactical effectiveness of the Nigerian Navy in the onslaught against oil bunkering in the Niger Delta has enlisted the services of some unpatriotic elements to launch a smear campaign against Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla.

“The game plan involves sponsoring vicious media attacks against the Chief of Naval Staff with the hope of pressuring President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to sack him as he has been known to be a courageous and dedicated anti-corruption icon.

“The sheer callouses of this scheme is appalling but their bag of lies has burst open and Nigerians have already known it is just a matter of corruption fighting back.”

The group stressed that the vessels under contention and believed to have been used in the alleged corruption case against the Naval Chief are still impounded and under investigation even as we speak now.

It noted that the case of MT Praisel, MT Kali, MT Tura, MT Vannalaris cited by the antagonists has only gone to expose the ignorance of those behind these malicious media attacks.

According to the group, For the avoidance of doubt, the Nigerian Navy has clear procedural requirements in the arrest, detention and release of any vessel or persons found culpable of any crime in the maritime environment. It is until these processes are duly concluded that such vessels are released to appropriate prosecuting agencies for further actions.

The group pointed out that before the inauguration of the present administration and the appointment of Ogalla, Nigeria suffered huge losses amounting to billions of dollars from crude oil theft and other unwholesome activities along Nigeria’s maritime borders.

It stressed that the task of Mr. President to the current Chief of Naval Staff was simple, to put a permanent end to bunkering, illegal refining of petroleum products and other crimes.

It added: “Some disgruntled elements are outraged that their brisk and once flourishing illegal business has been shut down by the powerful Nigerian Navy under the daring leadership of Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla.

“Their gang up and media wars have only gone to show that nobody attacks a player unless he’s in possession of the ball and threatening to score. The fact that nobody attacked the formal Naval Chiefs when crude oil theft and bunkering was so rampant shows that they didn’t dare to disrupt the status quo.”

The group said it therefore rejected the shenanigan in totality and insisted that the clamour by a few criminals must not overshadow the gallant and courageous sacrifices of a patriot whose only crime is obeying his Commander in-Chief and restoring dignity to the Nigerian people and their economy.

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