5 January, 2013
COMMODORE Isaac Ogbole,Commander, NNS Jubilee in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom, yesterday said his command arrested seven persons over alleged oil theft. Among those arrested were four Camerounians – Elias Mume, Lappa Bamileke, Fabian Lemonmu and Meluis Amah; and three Nigerians – Emeka Igbokwe, Michael John and Egbe Jame.
Ogbole told newsmen in Ikot Abasi that the suspects were caught “red-handed” on December 31, 2013. “The suspects were nabbed at Agbani area, close to Bakassi Local Government Area, the border between Nigeria and
Cameroun,” he explained.
He said that the suspects were intercepted after intelligence reports
indicated that they were travelling
from Ibaka in Mbo Local Government
Area of Akwa Ibom to Cameroun in a
boat, while pretending to be
businessmen dealing on provisions. Ogbole disclosed that the suspects were intercepted with 134 drums of 250 litres each, loaded with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), concealed under
some assorted provisions, as they
headed for Cameroun.
He listed other items recovered from
the suspects, as two Yamaha outboard engines and two oil-pumping machines. “From all indications, it was clear that the men were not only carrying petroleum products. They could have equally smuggled arms and ammunition into the country. They have made useful
statements to my men and told us that their master is somewhere in
Cameroun. From what we are seeing,
they are perpetual smugglers who come in and out of the country,” he
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
reports that the suspects were promptly handed over to the Akwa Ibom Command of the NSCDC. Mr. Pedro Ideba, the state’s NSCDC
Commandant, who spoke shortly after
receiving the suspects, promised to
ensure a thorough investigation toward effective prosecution.
Ideba assured Nigerians of the command’s determination to stop oil
theft, and described the crime as a huge economic sabotage. “People come into our country and steal our crude oil to other countries. They will adulterate it and re-sell to our people. This act must stop,” he said.