Military exonerates self from alleged oil theft in Niger Delta

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By Victor Akaa, Abuja.

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has on Thursday exonerated itself from the allegations of oil theft levelled against its personnel of Operation DELTA SAFE operating in the general area of Niger Delta region.

The DHQ, through its Director Defence Information, Major General Jimmy Akpor dismissed the allegations during a bi-weekly brief on the ongoing military operations and security agencies across the country, vehemently refuted that no soldier was involved in oil theft, bunkering and any illegal operations in the area.

General Akpor explained that several major stakeholders including the Nigerian military are engaged in the oil and gas industry and wondered why the military would be singled out for the allegations, noting that the allegation is unfounded and uncalled for.

He said,the military personnel and other security agencies had deserved commendations from Nigerians because of the sacrifices and the risk involved in safeguarding the national economic assets against saboteurs due to the difficulties associated with the terrains rather than tarnishing the name of the military into criminal related activities.

The DHQ, however, reiterated that the military will continue to dominate and deny the economic saboteurs access to the nation’s economic assets in the zone until normal return to the area.

Briefing journalists on the successes of military operations and other Security agencies from 25 August to 8 Septmber 2022, the Director, Defence Media Operations, (DMO) Major General Musa Danmadami, said troops have neutralized over 278 terrorists, over 69 arrested while over 80 kidnapped victims are rescued across the six geopolitical zones within the period.

Major General Danmadami noted that troops have eliminated over 252 Boko Haram terrorists, rescued 19 kidnapped victims including three Abducted Chibok girls, while about 37 criminals are arrested alongside the foreign logistics supplier by troops of Operations HADIN KAI in the North East.hh

He also averred that another drove of terrorist were surrenders to own troops in the North East.

“Equally, a total of 556 suspected Boko Haram/Islamic State of West Africa Province terrorists and their families, comprised of 115 Adult males, 189 females and 252 children, surrendered to own troops at different locations.” he stated.

In the South South, the DMO
said the military have denied oil thieves over N1,235,624,462 worth of crude oil within the period under review.

He said, Joint Task Force operation DELTA SAFE in the conduct of Operation OCTOPUS GRIP and Operation DAKATAR DA BARAWO conducted patrols and anti-illegal oil bunkering and swap buggy operation in the general area in the region and recorded significant successes within the period.

“Notably, on 28 August 2022, Nigerian Navy Ship SOROH on patrol at Forupa area of Bayelsa State arrested a suspected sea robber name Mr Dibo who has been on the watch list of wanted pirates. The suspect and his gang have been terrorizing and robbing passenger boats, along Southern Ijaw and its environs.

“Similarly, troops raided suspected criminals hide out at Iriebe village in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State and arrested 20 suspects with large quantities of substance suspected to be cannabis sativa.

“Also, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE within the period under review discovered and destroyed 67 illegal refining sites, 11 wooden boats, 218 storage tanks, 168 cooking ovens, and 61 dugout pits.” he stated.

In the North Central zone, General Danmadami said, Headquarters Operation SAFE HAVEN Jos in collaboration with Beautiful Gate Handicaps People Centre Jos, on 3 September 2022 distributed 220 tricycles’ and bags of rice to the handicaps within Plateau and Bauchi States respectively. This ,he said, was aim at promoting peace and bringing succor to the physically challenged.

In another development, the Director stated that troops have recovered over Ten million naira worth of illicit drugs, among many other successes recorded in the South West within the period.

“Notably, on 26 August 2022, troops of 81 Division at a checkpoint along Ilaro-Benin Republic border area, foiled an attempt to smuggled Seven Hundred and Ninety-Two (792) parcels of illicit drugs suspected to be cannabis sativa into the country.

“The parcels of the Indian hemp were concealed in a truck coming from outside the Country. It was estimated that the suspected illicit drugs were worth about Ten Million Naira (N10,000,000.00).”

Consequently, General Danmadami said,troops during its operations in the North West, nabbed a suspected Boko Haram Terrorist arm dealers named Hamza Dogo in Zamfara and recovered from him several items including, 2 AK47 rifles, 8 magazines, 200 rounds of 7.62mm and 1 Pontiac vehicle within the period.

According to him, troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI neutralized 17 terrorists, arrested 38 suspected, rescued 61 civilians, recovered 10 AK47 rifles, 3 locally made guns, 4 fabricated revolver rifles, 253 rounds of 7.62mm special, 68 motorcycles, 15 mobile phones, 3 woodland camouflages, 1 police uniform, 2 pairs of combat boots, 29 rustled cattle and 2 vehicles within the week under review.

“All recovered items, apprehended suspects and rescued civilians has been handed over to the relevant authority for further action.”

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