“We Are Interested In Names Of Officers Involved In Oil Theft In S’South” – Navy Replies Asari Dokubo

“We Are Interested In Names Of Officers Involved In Oil Theft In S’South” – Navy Replies Asari Dokubo

The Nigerian Navy has on Friday reacted to the allegation made by Niger Delta leader and former agitator, Mujahid Asari Dokubo who allegedly spoke with some journalists shortly after meeting President Bola Tinubu behind closed-doors at the Aso Rock Villa that cases of oil theft recorded in the South South region were traceable to the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Navy.

Dokubo alleged that the military is at the centre of oil theft and we have to make this very clear to the Nigerian public that 99 per cent of oil theft can be traced to the Nigerian military, the Army and the Navy especially.

Reacting to this allegation, the Nigerian Navy spokesperson, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan in a telephone interview with SpyeTV News Defence Correspondent in Abuja challenged the ex-militant to reveal the names of officers involved in crude oil theft. Saying, this allegation against the military is “spurious and unguarded”.

Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan said oil thieves were angry because the land, maritime and air component of the Joint Task Force Operation DELTA SAFE as well as other operations in the South South zone of the country have sustained the efforts to deny oil thieves avenues to sabotage economy through ongoing “Operation DAKATAR DA BARAWO” and sustained a relatively safe and peaceful environment for business activities to strife in the region. 

“If Asari Dokubo is seeking some form of relevance and he alleges that there are cabals of military personnel who are involved in crude oil theft, let him bring the names. Nobody is afraid of getting the names of those involved in crduenoil theft. You can not make such serious allegations and think that we just sweep it down the carpet , there will be an official response from Defence Headquarters on this matter. The Chief of Defence Staff does not condone that, nor those the Chief of Naval Staffnunder whom I serve.

“The Nigerian Navy as an organisation is actively involved in the fight against crude oil thefts and the resources in the Niger Delta. So, for anybody to say there is a cabal of military officers, the only simple thing is BRING THE EVIDENCE, BRING THE NAMES.”, he stressed. 

“Recently, during these operations, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE in the conduct of Operation OCTOPUS GRIP and other Operations discovered and destroyed 57 illegal refining sites, a total of Eighty Two Million Four Hundred and Forty Five Thousand One Hundred and Fifty Naira (N82,445,150.00) only were denied the oil thefts and troops also arrested 16 suspected economic saboteurs. 

“Let him bring the names. The Nigerian Navy is interested in the names of those involved because the Navy has no tolerance for any form of criminalities whatsoever, not even that height of theft as alleged by Asari Dokubo.

Relatedly, our air component of Operation DELTA SAFE between 2 and 3 June 2023 conducted air reconnaissance and air interdiction operation at Okoro Nyong and Ndele. Overhead, these locations which were observed to be rife with illegal refining activities with about 6 motorcycles sighted. Consequently, the locations was bombarded and destroyed while the illegal refined products and equipment were engulf in flames as a result of the air strike.

The Navy has been running it in synergy with the NNPC. The company that was given a contract by the NNPC on pipeline surveillance, they are working with the Nigerian Navy and Operation Delta Safe in the Niger-Delta to curb oil theft.

“For somebody to just make such unguarded statement, bring the names. You know that there is an operation (Operation DAKATA BARAWO) going on in the Niger Delta being run by the Nigerian Navy since April last year. 

“NNPC holds regular meetings with the Chief of Naval Staff to review the operations. Just last week, the Chief Executive of NUPREC was here to have a meeting with CNS. Just two days ago, the management team for the other one on downstream regulatory authority were also here to have a meeting. For us, if you want to make such spurious allegations, bring the names. Simple!

According to Navy Spokesperson, since inception, 131 suspects as well as 17 vessels have been arrested while 519 Illegal Refining Sites (IRS) and 4,261 storage tanks have been deactivated, with 560 wooden boats and 69 vehicles demobilised.

Additionally, 90 speedboats, 303 pumping machines, 181 outboard engines, 8 welding machines and 33 generator sets have been seized from the criminal elements.

Furthermore, oil thieves were denied about 116,939,404.26 litres (735,468.14 bbl) of crude oil, 45,120,813 litres of illegally refined AGO, 2,460,700 litres of DPK and 372,285.7 litres of PMS. At current market rates, this amounts to the sum of N71,880,111,421.30 denied oil thieves since the commencement of the Operation.

CRUDE = @$97 per bbl, with CBN rate of N460 to 1$

AGO = @N820 per ltr

DPK = @N810 per ltr

PMS = @N185 per ltr

PMS = @N537 per ltr as at 2 Jun 23


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