The Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship Delta, Rear Admiral Abdulahmid Baba-Inna, paraded the suspects at the command's headquarters in Warri on Friday shortly before handing them over for prosecution, to the Area Commander of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Mrs. Philomena Anigbogu.
Baba-inna, represented by the Base Operation Officer, Navy Commander Samuel Musa, noted that the suspected pipeline vandal, Saturday Orogun, was arrested at about 7:30pm on March 4, 2023, by the naval FOB operatives at Escravos.
The PUNCH gathered that the suspect was nabbed in a speedboat around Otumara Creek in Warri South West Local Government Area, “on suspicion of pipeline vandalism.”
During interrogation, however, the suspect who hails from Ovwian, Udu Local Government Area of Delta State but resides in Arunton claimed to be a boat driver who transits people and goods from Arunton to Shell Beach, Madangho and Tebeijoh area.
He told the naval operatives that he was given a contact by one Mr Peter to convey one Mr. Ekulis to a creek at Otumara when he was unfortunately accosted by pipeline surveillance contractors, who arrested him when he could not explain his reason for being around the area by that time.
Also, the Navy disclosed that on March 5, 2023 at about 11.30 am, the FOB Escravos operatives arrested five suspected crude oil thieves, at Mina Oilfield Offshore Escravos along with a wooden boat conveying10 GEEPEE Tanks cumulatively laden with about 45,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil.
The Navy listed the suspects as Taiwo Nelson, Adeyemi Joseph, Iseyemi Olaniran, Edomi Oworiode and Omoniyi Oladun.
According to the Navy, the suspects alongside the boat and the product were “towed to a safe place where the boat was handled appropriately while the suspects were taken to FOB Escravos and were subsequently handed over to NNS Delta.”
The NSCDC Area Commander, Mrs. Philomena Anigbogu, while taking over the suspects appreciated the Navy for the good work they had been doing, especially on the Niger Delta creeks.