BY GABRIEL OKECHUKWU, PORT HARCOURT
Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Rivers State Command has uncovered an illegal oil dump situated in a fenced piece of land of about ten plots in Aluu community, Ikwere Local Government Area, Rivers State.
The Commandant Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps Rivers State Command, Michael Ogar who made the revelation in Port Harcourt Rivers State while parading sixteen suspects arrested in different parts of the State, told journalists that petroleum trucks, four boats and private cars used for oil theft were confiscated along the line.
The discovery of the illegal oil dump followed a tip off and subsequent invasion of the property by the Anti Vandal unit of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Rivers State Command.
The illegal oil dump situated in the large space of land has a house within the compound.
Also found in the premises were one hundred and seventy number of one thousand litres surface Industrial tanks of which some were filled with crude oil as well as diesel and two petroleum tanks.
What was more disturbing was that the illegal oil dump was very close to a Flow Station with a production capacity of about fifty five thousand barrels per day.
Conducting journalists round the facility, the Commandant NSCDC Rivers State Command, Michael Ogar who described the situation as unfortunate vowed that the command was all out to fish out oil thieves in their hideouts.
“Upon further investigation our operatives also discovered at the dump site: 170 Tanks out of which 35 were loaded with AGO which totaled 35,000 litres; we also recovered 22 unused tanks, 113 other empty tanks, 2 long and short empty Iron tanks and One (1) Generating Set.”
“Recall that we have reiterated overtime that any compound, building or site where illegal oil bunkering activities are discovered would be sealed by our men and subsequently forfeited to the Federal Government hence, that is what will happen here”
On the arrest of sixteen suspects, commandant Ogar told News men that eight of the suspects were intercepted at different locations in Rivers State during patrol operations by the Anti Vandal Unit while conveying petroleum products in trucks, buses and private cars.
According to the NSCDC Rivers State Boss, the remaining eight suspects were handed over to the command by Nigerian Navy Ship NNS Pathfinder alongside four boats and nineteen drums laden with diesel.
“Following a credible Intelligence these suspects: Abubakar Babangida Jinadu (M) 33years , Mohammed Ibrahim Kabir (M) 30years and Gombejo Musa (M) 45years were intercepted and arrested at Obi Wali International Conference Center along Eliozu/Air force road in Obio/Akpo Local Government Area of Rivers State while conveying a White Howo 911 Truck with number plate ABUJA ABC 764 XD laden with unquantified litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) concealed in cellophane and packed in sack bags.”
“In addition, one Mathew Ani (M) 27years was arrested at Port Harcourt Mall (SPAR) along Azikiwe road in Port Harcourt.”
“In another development the Command Antivandal land Patrol Team at New road Mgbaraja Ogbogoro Community in Obio/Akpo Local Government Area also impounded 2 Cars with number plates LAGOS APP 382 FB and ABIA ABA 56 HA laden with about 5 drums (1,250litres) of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil popularly called Diesel”.
On interrogation, one of the suspects Mr. Duke Johnson told Radio Nigeria that his family was finding it difficult to feed so he was looking for a way out, while another suspect, Taminu Mohammed denied knowledge of the shady deal insisting that he was only a security guard at the compound of the Illegal oil dump.
Commandant Michael Ogar who warned landlords and property owners to desist from letting out their facilities for illegal oil activities, said that the premises used for illegal oil dump has been taken over while the suspects would be charged to court and all seized equipment forfeited to the Federal Government.