Navy arrests 35 suspected oil thieves in Akwa Ibom, seize 408 drums of illegal AGO - Breaking News Nigeria
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Navy arrests 35 suspected oil thieves in Akwa Ibom, seize 408 drums of illegal AGO

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The Nigerian Navy has apprehended 35 suspected oil thieves and seized from them 408 drums of suspected illegal refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) in Akwa Ibom State.

The Naval Commanding Officer, Forward Operating Base (FOB), Ibaka, Mbo Local Government Area of the state, Navy Capt. Mohammed Abu who paraded the suspects to newsmen on Wednesday said they were apprehended on November 26, 2021 while on routine patrol.

The suspects he said will be handed over to operatives of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Ibaka Mbo Local Government Area after their parade.

He said, “I will be handing over the suspects and exhibits of wooden boats that were intercepted by the NNS Thunder on the Nov. 26, at high sea having infracted economic policy of the country.

“The Chief of the Naval Staff has given a clear directive to Nigerian Navy to free the waterways of illegalities and other maritime crimes.

“So, having said this, we have three wooden boats which were conveying 408 drums of AGO and 40 drums of PMS mixed with oil, 906 empty drums and 35 male suspects are here before you.

“I am handing them over to you, as the Prosecuting Agency to carry out further investigation and prosecute them accordingly and revert to the Nigerian Navy on the outcome,” Abu said.

The commanding officer said the arrest of the suspected vandals has sent messages to criminals that the Nigerian Navy would not relent in ensuring all economic sabotage in the Nigerian maritime space is punished.

“This arrest is to send a message to those vandals of our crude oil pipelines that the CNS has zero-tolerance for crude oil theft and our ships are out there looking for them and we will arrest them until they are out of our maritime domain,” he said.

He appealed to smugglers and vandals of petroleum products to stay out of the business, as the base would not relent in its continuous patrol to sustain the directive of the CNS and rid criminal elements out of Nigeria waterways.

“I deployed our boats and identified the creeks where they are operating within Mbo waterways. As I speak to you, I have three of our boats that have choked them up in creeks within the waterways at Unyenge, Okposo and Ikang.”

Meanwhile, the Head of Anti Vandals, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Akwa Ibom Command, Assistant Commandant of Corps, Adamu Jafaaru, received the suspects and the exhibits on behalf of the NSCDC.

Jafaaru said the agency would carry out thorough investigations on the suspects and all those culpable would be arraigned in court soon.

He warned vandals to desist from sabotaging the economy of the nation, stressing that the NSCDC would not relent in their mandate of protecting government critical infrastructure.

“I want to assure you all that as the Nigerian Navy handed over the suspects and exhibits to us as the Prosecuting Agency. We will conduct a thorough investigation and ensure diligent prosecution of those involved in this economic sabotage of the nation.” He said.

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Panic in Onitsha as tanker fire rages nonstop

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There is currently panic in Onitsha, Anambra State as firefighters battle to put out a raging fire caused by a fallen petrol tanker.

A source told DAILY POST that the fire started after a petrol tanker conveying fuel fell around Obodoukwu road, along the Onitsha – Owerri road in the commercial city.

As at the time of filing this report, the fire which started in the morning hours has raged for about two hours.

“We are now afraid because the fire is spreading very fast, and we fear that it may spread to the Relief market,” a source in the area said.

Meanwhile, the Chief Fire Officer in Anambra, Mr Martin Agbili who spoke to our correspondent said his men were still battling to save the situation.

He declined comments when asked to access the level of damage caused by the fire, saying the true level of damage can not be ascertained until the fire has totally been extinguished.

“You may have to call back much later in the day if you need a true assessment. For now, our men are still battling the fire, and we can only talk about casualty figures or material losses when we are done,” he said.

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Youths set two suspected robbers ablaze in Imo

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Nemesis on Thursday caught up with two suspected robbers along Nkume junction by Mgbabano-Umuaka Road, Eziama Obaire in Nkwere council area of Imo State as angry youths overpowered and set them ablaze.

The suspects allegedly perpetrate their nefarious acts using motorcycles.

The charred remains of the suspected thieves were still smouldering when our correspondent visited the scene.

DAILY POST gathered that the incident occurred at about 10:00 am, when four robbers on two motorcycles tried to overpower a commercial motorcycle rider at Nkume junction by Mgbabano-Umuaka Road, Eziama.

An eye witness, Chikezie Nwadike said the duo who were members of a notorious gang of four men using two Motorcycles to operate were about to rob a commercial motorcyclist before luck ran out on them.

He said the alarm raised by the commercial cyclist attracted angry youths, who caught and pounced on the two of them and immediately set them on fire after two other suspects escaped.

He said they thought their operation would be swift, but it turned out to be the end-of-the-road for them. They arrived on two motorcycles and the two on the passenger seat alighted and suddenly accosted the Commercial cyclist trying to snatch his bike.

He immediately screamed at the sight of a gun but in a swift reaction, irate youths trooped to the scene, chased the thieves to where they were overpowered.”

They were beaten blue-black, which resulted in their death before they were set ablaze.

The situation has reportedly put fear on motorists and pedestrians plying the axis.

When DAILY POST called the State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Micheal Abbattam to confirm the incident, he claimed he had not been briefed and promised to call the DPO of the area where the incident happened.

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EFCC arraigns Omritas Energy owner over N57.6m dud cheque

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday arraigned Oluremi Ebun Philips before Justice S. O. Solebo of the Special Offences Court in Ikeja, Lagos.

The defendant and her company, Omritas Energy Limited, face a five-count charge bordering on stealing and issuance of dud cheques.

In one of the counts, Philips and Omritas Energy in 2016 “fraudulently converted and stole N57,690,000, property of AYM Shafa Limited”.

The amount was meant for the supply of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) which they failed to deliver.

The cheque issued, when presented for payment, was dishonoured by the bank due to insufficient funds.

Phillips pleaded “not guilty” to the charges. Prosecuting counsel, T. J. Banjo prayed the court for a trial date and for her remand.

Defence counsel, Akin Olatunji told the judge that a bail application had been filed and served on the prosecution.

Justice Solebo adjourned till February 14 and 15, 2022 for trial and ruling on the bail application.

The defendant will remain at a Correctional Centre until the next hearing.

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