EFCC, Big Stakeholder In Naval Operations, Navy
The Chief Instructor, Maritime Warfare Department, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna State, Captain C. A. Obika has described the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as a big stakeholder in Naval operations in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
Obika made this observation on Tuesday, 23 January, 2018 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, while presenting Course 40 Students of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Kaduna Visited the EFCC.
According to him, the EFCC has become a big stakeholder in Naval operations in the Niger Delta region owing to “a long standing relationship with the NAVY in the area of tackling illegal oil bunkering and the relationship between the two agencies has been mutually rewarding”.
He appraised the enormity of challenges involved in the mandate of the EFCC and scored it high in rising to the tasks. “We know that this is a risky job. Corruption will always fight back and when it does, it will use both legal and illegal means. However, God will always stand by you”, he said.
The Zonal Head of Operations of the EFCC, Port Harcourt, Mr. Nnaghe Obono Itam, in a presentation to the visiting students, appraised the existing synergy between the EFCC and the NNS Pathfinder in Port Harcourt and submitted that the two agencies have always enjoyed a “win- win relationship”.
“The professional and dynamic performance of marine security operation in the region has yielded considerable arrests of illegal oil bunkerers over the years. The NNS PATHFINDER specifically has almost become another office and operating base of the EFCC. The result is that the EFCC has secured many convictions and pursuing several cases of illegal oil bunkering at various stages of prosecution in our law courts”.
Itam identified several challenges inhibiting the collaboration and alliance between the EFCC and Navy. Some of these are: “collaboration and conspiracy between and amongst the communities who shield the bunkerers; bureaucratic bottlenecks in prosecuting illegal oil bunkering cases; constant transfers of Judges and arresting officers involved in the prosecution of the cases, outright destruction and tampering with exhibits and undue delay in forwarding and transferring illegal oil bunkering cases”.
He proposed suffer punishment of offenders, community involvement in decision making process and creating more awareness on the dangers of oil theft, as some of the ways forward, in tackling the menace of illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta.
The Course 40 Students comprise 47 Senior Officers, five of whom are female Officers, two Customs Officers and one Defence Intelligence Agent. The focus of their Operations Visit was an appraisal of the existing inter agency cooperation in Nigeria’s maritime domain for enchanted national security and economic development.
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