Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Rivers State Command, has arrested 12 suspects for alleged involvement in vandalism, oil theft and illegal dealings in petroleum products.
Speaking during parade of the suspects at the NSCDC command in Port Harcourt, the Commandant, Basil Igwebueze, said the fight against illegal oil bunkering activities in Rivers State was not negotiable.
Basil warned economic saboteurs to either desist from such heinous act or face the full wrath of the law.
He said as the commandant of the NSCDC Rivers State Command, he was determined to fight the menace of illegal oil bunkering activities which overtime has led to environmental degradation, pollution of land, aquatic life and health hazards.
He hinted that the Commandant General, Dr Ahmed Audi deployed him to the State to “achieve mandate of the NSCDC of safeguarding all critical national assets and infrastructures, ensuring that operators of unregistered private guard companies do proper registration or risk being shut down; ensure that the good people of Rivers State sleep with their two eyes closed without fear of intimidation or any danger”.
Basil said with a renewed vigour, the command Anti-vandal Land Patrol arrested 12 suspects from different locations across the state for their involvement in oil theft, vandalism and illegal dealings in petroleum products.
“At C4i check point Eneka- Igwuruta road in Obio/ Akpo Local Government Area we arrested three suspects named: Chijioke Valida (40), Ikwunze Uzodinma (35), Emmanuel Tamunokuro (35) with a Black Toyota Camry LAGOS FKJ 451 FZ laden with 750 litres, a Dark Green Toyota Avalon with number plate RIVERS KRK 863 AA laden with 2,500 litres and a black Toyota Camry LAGOS SMK 84 CA conveying 2,700 litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) respectively.”
He further disclosed that the anti-vandal squad made an arrest at Okehi- Ngor/Okpal road in the same Etche axis a Grey Toyota Camry Lagos FKJ 716 BG laden with 2,000 litres of AGO concealed in sacks while the suspects took to their heels upon sighting their men.
“An arrest was also made at opposite SASA Filling Station, Eagle Island in Obio/Akpo Local Government Area where Uduak Thompson (30) was arrested with 4,500 litres of AGO. One Mustapha Salisu (M) 27years was arrested with a black Honda Car: KANO TRN 431 AQ while conveying about 1,500 litres of AGO concealed in cellophane bags. While on routine patrol, Kingsley Israel (36) and Charles Wale (48) were arrested in a bus laden with 10,000 litres of crude oil concealed in sacks.
“The following suspects were also arrested at Dockyard axis in old Port Harcourt township they are: Musa Suleiman (36), Jemilu Usainu (M) 23years, Ibrahim Usman (M) 25years.
“Following a tip off about 22,725 litres of AGO was impounded when our anti-vandal squad burst an illegal oil dump site in Ibidoki polo Bie-Ama off new road Borokiri Port Harcourt”.
The NSCDC commandant affirmed the command’s readiness to sustain the existing synergy among the security agencies in the fight against oil theft and vandalism of oil pipelines in Rivers State.
He warned the anti-vandal marine personnel to desist from any action that could smear the image of the NSCDC, noting that the CG is always ready to motivate and reward diligent and dedicated officers.