- Appeals to top hierarchy of Nigerian military to hasten release of Captain Solomon
Forcados Terminal, one of Nigeria’s major oil exporting facility situated at Ogulagha community, the headquarters of Ogulagha kingdom in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta state is alleged to have been in grave danger over the continued whisking away of its community Chairman, Captain Solomon Prebor.
The community conveyed their plight in a Save our Souls, SOS through a legal firm in Warri, V. E. Akpoguma & Co dated on the 22nd of December 2016 addressed to the Chief of Defence Intelligence, Defence Intelligence Agency, Asokoro, Garki in Abuja.
The firm particularly called for the immediate and unconditional release of the Ogulagha community chairman, Captain Solomon Prebor over what it described as a clear case of grave injustice, stressing that it was not shielding anyone from evading justice as it rather prefers Chairman be charged to court rather than keeping him in military gulag, as it wonders what section of the law that has been violated by Captain Prebor.
The SOS further alleged how members of the Nigerian Navy attached to the Joint Task Force, JTF in Forcados Terminal in Ogulagha allegedly blindfolded members of the community, assuring them that their leader would return in few hours before whisking Solomon away in a commando like manner through a military gunboat.
The letter dismissed claims from some quarters within the Kingdom particularly from an unsigned petition allegedly carrying the letter headed paper of GAWEI TECHNICAL SERVICES COMPANY LIMITED, linking him as the mastermind of a 1998 Vandalization of pipeline in Forcados Terminal while describing it as totally baseless.
The firm emphatically called on the top hierarchy of the Nigerian military to wade into the potential looming danger by quickly releasing the community Chairman to avoid break down of law and order in the said Kingdom.
The SOS read in part “We have been briefed and our professional services retained by (1) MR. TONY TEMEWEI, (2) MR. SIBE OKEBOR and (3) MR. BERNARD OKOH All of Ogulagha town In the Burutu Local Government Area.
“The aforementioned persons who are the Vice Chairman, Secretary and Assistant Secretary respectively of Ogulagha Community in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State are herein after referred to as ‘our clients’.They are herein acting for themselves, the Executive of Ogulagha Community and indeed the entire members of Ogulagha Community.
“From the verbal instructions of our clients the following facts emerge:-
“On the 19-12-2016 the Ogulagha Community had a community meeting at its town hall. In attendance at the said meeting was the community chairman (Captain Solomon Prebor), members of Executive of the Ogulagha community, chiefs, leaders of the community and the members of the said community
“While the meeting was ongoing, a team of armed officers of Joint Task Force [JTF] attached to Forcados Terminal [FOT] ,Ogulagha and led by the FOT commander entered the venue of the meeting and invited the community chairman, Captain Solomon Prebor and members of his Executive to the JTF camp at the Forcados Terminal.
“The ongoing meeting was a result abruptly adjourned and Captain Solomon Prebor and his Executive, including two of our clients herein, went with the team of armed JTF men headed by FOT Commander, to the JTF camp at the Forcados Terminal.
“When Captain Solomon Prebor, the Ogulagha Community Chairman and members of his Executive got to the JTF camp at Forcados Terminal they were made to wait for several hours. At about 18.35 Hours a Naval Officer, who said he came from warri, informed them that Captain Solomon Prebor was wanted for questioning at the Naval Base, Warri and that he will be back in a couple of hours.” It said.
Adding that ” The said Naval officer and Captain Solomon Prebor thereafter left ostensibly to the Naval Base ,Warri.
“On the 20-12-2016, our Clients herein called at the Naval Base, Warri and were allowed to see Captain Solomon Prebor who was in detention at the Said Naval Base.
“Captain Solomon Prebor told our clients that his arrest and detention was baseless, as he was informed, on the allegation that he sent boys in the year 1998 to vandalize SPDC oil pipelines, Captain Solomon Prebor further informed our clients that the said allegations against him is contained in an unsigned petition on the letter headed paper of GAWEI TECHNICAL SERVICES COMPANY LIMITED.
“Captain Solomon Prebor also informed our clients that he repudiated the allegations against him as false and utterly baseless and that whilst he knows the boys whose names were supplied to him as being from Ogulagha Community, he does not know what they do. He furthered stated that he did not send anybody to carry out any illegal activities and most certainly he did not send any body to vandalize oil pipelines.
“Captain Solomon Prebor informed our Clients, who are also aware of the fact that he (Captain Solomon Prebor) had earlier written a petition to the Inspector General of Police, Force Headquarters at Abuja that some persons in a speed boat belonging to Mr. Bonny Gawei, the managing Director of GAWEI TECHNICAL SERVICES COMPANY LIMITED and piloted by the brother of the said Managing Director of GAWEI TECHNICAL SERVICES COMPANY LIMITED had attempted to kidnap him and pursued his speed boat. That the pilot of his speed boat was aware that they were been pursued to a Military Houseboat along the waterway before the speed boat pursuing them reversed
“Captain Solomon Prebor had in fact just returned from Abuja and was informing the Community of the outcome of the Inspector general’s investigation into his said petition when his arrest and events herein before stated occur
“The arrest of Captain Solomon Prebor based on an allegation that occurred sometimes in 1998 and on a petition written by a nameless person is, to say that least utterly reprehensible and oppressive.” It noted.
Stressing “Our clients are aware that the arrest of the chairman is meant to set a cat among the pigeons. It has so disrupted the Community on account of the huge sum of money expected to be paid by the SPDC to the Ogulagha Community for its rental of the Forcados terminal. Captain Solomon Prebor is perceived as a threat to the interest of some powerful persons in the community.
“Captain Solomon Prebor has, as at the 22-12-2016, been in detention for a period of four (4) days. He will most likely spend the Christmas in detention for a clearly trumped up and tit-for-tat allegation
“Since the arrest and detention of Chairman of our Clients Community, the Community has been under tension. The people are restive. No economic activity is going on in the Community. The fragile peace being enjoyed in Ogulagha and its environs is in danger of being disrupted by the action of Naval personnel who may unwittingly be playing out the script of faceless persons
“We hereby request that you wade into what is clearly a grave injustice and use your good offices to effect, without much ado, the immediate release of Captain Solomon Prebor from the Naval gulag where he is being held.
“Suffice it to say that the continuing arrest of Captain Solomon Prebor is unconstitutional and illegal. Captain Solomon Prebor is npt above the law. If he has committed any infraction of any section of our penal code he should be made to dance to the music of his criminality. He should be charged to court. If not he should, we reiterate, be released forthwith.
“Your prompt response to this S.O.S will be greatly appreciated, please” It appeals.
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