High profile Nigerians behind crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism in Niger Delta, says NSCDC
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC), on Sunday, says Nigerians would be shocked if the corps decides to publish the names of those sponsoring, aiding and abetting crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism, illegal refineries, illegally dealing in petroleum products and economic sabotage in the Niger Delta region.
The Public Relation Officer of the Delta State Command of the Corps, DSC Emeka Peters Okwechime, stated this in an e-signed statement made available to our correspondent on Sunday in Warri, Delta State.
He said that though there has been drastic reduction and significant drop in the nefarious activities of vandals in the country particularly in the Niger Delta region, the Corps would not rest in its determination to smoke out those involved in the dubious economic sabotage of the nation.
DSC Okwechime attributed the recent feat in the operation of the Corps to the effective measures taken by the present leadership of the NSCDC both at the National and State level, which he said could be attested to by members of the public.
He said that the recently inaugurated Commandant General Special Intelligence Squad has brought sanity to the oil rich region.
According to Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) data, he said, “the crude oil theft in 2021 reached about 200,000 barrels per day, which they pointed out was a quarter of the total onshore production.
Also, the Nigeria Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) had estimated the cost of the volume of stolen crude oil at about $3.27 billion as at April 2022,” he added.
“The large volume of vandalized crude oil announced by the regulatory commissions and the amount of money lost by the Federal Government would have doubled if not tripled but for the combatant and competent efforts of the gallant Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr Abubakar Audi Ahmed, PhD (mni) and the Delta State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Akinsanya Iskilu Abiodun, who put up a stiff and sincere fight against the menace of crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism thereby resulting in the reduction of the criminal activity.
“In addition, the recently inaugurated Commandant General Special Intelligence Squad has brought sanity to the oil rich region. The unit, in recent time, has succeeded in clamping down on illegal oil dump sites, the destruction of artisanal refineries, while several trucks conveying the products have been impounded. Also some suspects have been arrested and undergoing prosecution.
“These laudable and commendable milestone achievements are not unconnected with the Commandant General’s rising fame and his professional charisma and expertise, which have been generating ripples of commendation in the nation, particularly in the fight against insecurity, of which the corps has regained its lost glory and it’s corporate image well polished,” he reiterated.
DSC Okwechime, however, said that ‘heads will roll,’ if the Corps decided to publish the names of those behind crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism, illegally dealing in petroleum products, economic sabotage amongst others.
According to him, preliminary investigation and confessional statements from suspects arrested, have revealed some of the identities of their sponsors and those behind crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism, illegal refineries, economic sabotage and a host of other socio-economic crimes under the purview of the NSCDC.
He vowed that the Corps would leave no stone unturned in exposing those responsible for the nefarious acts to serve as deterrent to others.
Okwechime maintained that the machines, equipment and technical know-how employed in these barbaric acts can’t be afforded by the commoners but traceable to the rich in the society.
He also disclosed that majority of the trucks, number plates, and suspects arrested, revealed or portray that these perpetrators of these evil acts have insiders or collaborators which the State Commandant, Akinsanya Iskilu, is having sleepless nights to unravel their true identities and tangible evidence against them.
The Public Relations Officer affirmed that the force was poised to “publish the names of those behind the dastardly acts, which, as indicated from the confessional statements made by suspects, contained names of high profiled personalities, respected leaders in the society, even retired and serving uniform personnel and their relatives.”
The statement indicated the Corps is still gathering sufficient and substantial evidence before it will go ahead to publish the names of those sponsoring, aiding and abetting crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism, illegal refineries, illegally dealing in petroleum products and economic sabotage in the region.
It notes that the law would take its course when the names are published, especially against the law enforcement officers found wanting to discourage others from the evil act and sharp practices.