Troops apprehend 10 pipeline vandals, 2 high profile sea pirates Troops apprehend 10 pipeline vandals, 2 high profile sea pirates Vandals By Sumaila Ogbaje Abuja, Aug. 11, 2023 Troops of Operation Delta Safe have in the last two weeks apprehended 10 suspected pipeline vandals and two high profile sea pirates in the Niger Delta.
The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, made this known at a bi-weekly news briefing of the Defence Headquarters, on Thursday in Abuja.
Onyeuko gave the names of the arrested sea pirates as Fagha Golden (aka) Fine Boy and Victor Elkanah (aka) Victor Padi. He said Fine Boy was apprehended at Nonwa village in Tai Local Government Area of Rivers, while Padi was captured at Pharzy Spring Diagnostic and Wellness Hospital in One-Eleme Local Government Area of the state.
According to him, the suspects are notorious for series of armed attacks on oil vessels, kidnapping of expatriates and illegal oil bunkering in Rivers.
“The large quantity of crude and Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) and the number of arrested crude oil thieves shows the unrelenting efforts by the troops.
“Troops have sustained offensive posture to deny criminals the much needed space for their illegal operation in Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states.
“In the process several illegal oil refining sites were discovered and destroyed.
“These include 37 illegal refineries, 68 dugout pits, 188 storage tanks, 33 wooden boats, 16 pumping machines, one generator, one vehicle, 175 cooking ovens and 23 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition.
“Also, recovered was 3.7 million litres of crude oil and 2.01 million litres of AGO,” he said.
An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Friday reserved judgment in the case involving two men: Ogbor Eliot, and Kelvin Chris, charged with attempted N1.8bn oil fraud for Sept.13. Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo adjourned the case following the adoption of the final written address of the counsel.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the defendants are standing trial, alongside a company, Danium Energy Services Ltd., on a five-count charge bordering on conspiracy, forgery and obtaining by false pretence.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
At Friday’s proceedings, in adopting the final written addresses, counsel to the defendants, unanimously prayed the court to discharge and acquit their respective clients.
They urged the court to hold that the prosecution had not proven the case against their clients beyond any reasonable doubt.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, in adopting his final written address, urged the court to dismiss the arguments of the defence counsel, arguing that they lacked merits and prayed the court to convict the defendants as charged.
“The case against the defendants before your lordship is such that it is visible to the blind and audible to the deaf.
“I urge the court to take into cognisance, the fact that the defendants created an impression that Total Nigeria Plc, issued to the defendants local purchase order, Ref. Nos 330 and 33, for the supply of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO).
“These two local purchase orders gave the impression that Total Nigeria Plc contracted the third defendant to supply to it, 10,000 metric tonnes per each of those LPOs for a particular sum.
“And so, the third defendant, armed with these LPOs, contracted Sterling Bank Plc to finance the purported documents emanating from Total Nigeria Pl “The prosecution has shown to my lord, that the LPOs were forged, and the original of the documents which Total said that the referenced documents in contention, were not issued to the third defendant, ” he said.
EFCC had alleged that the defendants and the company had attempted to fraudulently deceive Sterling Bank Plc into lending them money through a fraudulent scheme.
This was on the pretext to finance Local Purchase Orders (LPO) for 20,000 metric tonnes of AGO, to be supplied to Total Nigeria Plc. The prosecution submitted that the defendants and the company had sometime in February 2016 in Lagos, with intent to defraud, conspired amongst themselves to obtain the sum of N1.8 billion by false pretence from Sterling Bank Plc. EFCC also alleged that the defendants, with intent to defraud, induced Sterling Bank Plc to deliver to Danium Energy Services Ltd., the total sum of N1.8 billion.
It added that it was under the false pretence that Total Nigeria Plc vide Purchase Orders (PO), with Ref. No. 0216330 and 02331 dated Feb.3 2016, contracted Danium Energy Services Ltd to supply 20,000 metric tonnes of AGO in two tranches of 10,000 metric tonnes, each valued at the aggregate sum of N2.3 billion.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The prosecution said that the alleged offences contravened Section 1(1) (a) (b) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006.
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), says it has apprehended eight suspects and impounded seven trucks containing 315, 000 litres of suspected adulterated Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) in Akwa ibom.
The NSCDC Commandant in Akwa Ibom, Mr Suleman Mafara, said this while addressing newsmen at the command’s exhibits yard in Uyo on Monday.
Mafara said the suspects were arrested based on intelligence and surveillance by operatives of the Anti Vandals unit of the NSCDC Akwa Ibom command on July 7 along Calabar-Itu highway, barely 24 hours after his assumption of duty in the state.
He said that the command would not relent on its mandate of protecting government critical assets and infrastructure from vandalism.
He said the activities of vandals and criminals were economic sabotage, adding that the command would not give them any breathing space to operate in the state.
“Today being Monday 18 July, 2022 the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Akwa Ibom Command is parading eight suspects arrested in possession of AGO obtained through illegal means.
“A total of seven trucks were impounded carrying 315, 000 litres of adulterated petroleum products (AGO) believed to have been possessed illegally through bunkering and falsification of documents and waybills“They were arrested along Calabar- Itu highway moving to various parts of the country.
We have commenced our investigations and we have almost completed.
“As soon as we finish our investigation, we are charging them to Court.
I want to make it clear to all Nigerians that the NSCDC under the leadership of our Commandant General, Dr Ahmed Audi, will not relent in tackling all forms of criminal activities.
“I want to use this medium to appeal to all well-meaning Nigerians to support NSCDC for the betterment of the Nigerian society,” Mafara said.
The commandant assured Akwa Ibom people that the Command would make the state uncomfortable for criminal elements.
He warned criminals and vandals to have a rethink and relocate out of the state as the place was no longer safe for economic saboteurs.
An Ikeja High Court on Monday convicted a Lagos based lawyer, Stella Achebe and her company, Infinite Favour Nigeria Ltd., for issuing N10 million dud cheque to a man.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Justice Sodetan Ogunsanya found Achebe guilty as charged and deferred her sentencing until the defendant was produced.
“It is clear that the defendant has jumped bail and all efforts by her counsel to locate her has proved abortive.
“Delay in the judgement was due to the deliberate and willful refusal of the defendant to show face in court.
“The prosecution through its witnesses and documents tendered, proved by cogent, credible and convincing evidence beyond every reasonable doubt all the charges filed against her.
“The court found the defendant and her company guilty as charged. I hereby adjourn sentencing until when the defendant is produced,” Ogunsanya said.
NAN reports that the defence counsel, Mr O.S. Ahmed, on Monday told the court that the defendant could still not be located.
The economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Achebe on amended four-count charge dated Feb. 27, 2015.
The charge bordered on insurance of dud cheque and obtaining money under false pretences.
One of the charges reads: “Stella Achebe and Infinite Favour Nigeria Ltd. sometimes in April, 2013, at Lagos, within the Ikeja Judicial Division knowingly issued a Diamond Bank cheque dated April 30, 2013, for the sum of N10 million only payable to Leinadibanie Nigeria Ltd., through its Director, Daniel Ebinoh.
“Which when presented for payment within three months of issuance was dishonoured on the grounds that no funds or insufficient funds were standing to your credit in the account at the bank on which the cheque was drawn.”
Another charge reads: “Stella Achebe, sometime in 2012 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court by false pretence fraudulently obtained the sum of N20,950,000 credit for yourself and Infinite Favour Nigeria Ltd from Leinadibanie Nigeria Ltd., through its Director, Daniel Ebinoh and thereby incurred a debt or liability to Leinadibanie Nigeria Ltd. in the said sum of money.”
The EFCC counsel, G.C. Akaogu, had called four witnesses and tendered several documentary evidences to prove the case against the defendants.
The prosecution through the witnesses revealed that the defendant had only N3.1 million in her account as at the time she issued the cheque for the said amount.
The prosecution also submitted evidence to prove that the defendant obtained the said money by false pretence as she was not into oil and gas business as she claimed.
The defendant, who said she was a lawyer called to the Nigeria Bar in 2002, also took to the dock to defend herself, claiming that she was into oil and gas business.
She had claimed that the money obtained from the complainant who petitioned the EFCC was for the supply of AGO from MRS.
However, in the course of the continuation of trial, the defendant stopped coming to court.
On Feb. 27, 2019, when parties adopted their written addresses, the court, following an application by the prosecution, revoked the bail of the defendant and declared her wanted.
The court issued a bench warrant for her arrest which prompted the adjournment of judgement in the case.
The offences violated Section 1(1)(b) of the Dishonoured Cheques (Offences) Act 2004 and Section 313(1)(a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.
The Defence Headquarters says troops and other security agencies have recorded significant successes against criminals across theatres in the last few days.
The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, said this in a statemen on Thursday in Abuja.
Onyeuko said the troops of Operation Hadarin Daji had on June 21 engaged terrorists at Rafin Dankura in Bakura Local Government Area of Zamfara who abducted some innocent civilians.
He said the encounter led to the rescue of six kidnapped civilians and killing of two bandits in the process.
According to him, items recovered include two AK47, 36 Hand grenade, two cell phones and the sum of N211,915.
The defence spokesman said that troops also killed two terrorists at Maigora in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State on the same day and recovered cache of weapons.
He also disclosed that troops of Operation Whirl Stroke on June 20, arrested a notorious gun runner, one Ardo Maranewo, who had been on the wanted list of security agencies.
According to him, the suspect is a specialist in selling and leasing arms and ammunition to bandits and kidnappers in Taraba.
“Furthermore, troops on patrol along Udei-Markurdi-Lafiya road arrested seven rail track vandals with a trailer registered ABJ KWALI 846 XBJ loaded with cut to size vandalised rail tracks and sleepers.
“They are Terswoo John (40), Donald Kperuv (30), Abraham Tinde (25), Jamilu Danlami (20), James Yandela (29), Idris Usman Imam (32) and Abubakar Adamu (30).
“Also on June 21, troops raided a kidnappers’ enclave at Maraba in Ukyonugu Ityuluv Ward in Ukum Local Government Area of Benue and arrested one Ichen Igbaka (65), a bandits’ collaborator and his wife Mrs Salomi Gbaka.
“Their house was used by a late bandit leader, Mr Azu, as a hideout.
“Suspects and items recovered are in custody for further interrogation,” he said.
Onyeuko further said that troops of 151 Task Force Battalion under Operation Hadin Kai on June 20, eliminated two terrorists in conjunction with Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) along Bama-Pulka road in Borno.
He added that troops also arrested a Boko Haram member, Malam Abacha Usman at Benishek and a terrorists logistics supplier, Mallam Ibrahim Gira along Damboa -Biu road in Borno on June 21.
In the Niger Delta region, Onyeuko said the NNS Delta on June 19, discovered an illegal refining site around Opumami Creek in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta.
He added that two metal storage tanks, five ovens, seven dug out pits, with 120,300 litres of stolen crude oil were recovered from the site.
“Similarly on the same day, troops located two illegal refining sites at Atumakiri with 10 ovens and 15 metal storage tanks with 450,000 litres of AGO and 350,000 litres of stolen crude oil.
“The Military high command congratulates the troops in various operations for their exploits,” he said.
Troops of the Nigerian Navy conducting Operation ”Dakatar Da Barawo” confiscated crude oil and other illegally refined products worth N2.7billion in June.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Director of Information, Naval Headquarters, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan in Abuja.
“The various NN platforms deployed for ‘Operation Dakatar Da Barawo, Calm Waters 11’ and Tripartite Joint Border Patrol have continued to sustain aggressive patrols to curb the menace of crude oil theft and illegal oil bunkering.
”Accordingly, several Illegal Refining Sites (IRS), metal storage tanks, wooden boats, dugout pits and ovens were destroyed between June 13 and June 19.
He said five suspects were and the operatives destroyed 14 Illegal refining sites.
The Navy also said that 80 storage tanks, 22 wooden boats, 40 ovens , two speed boats, a tanker, truck, barge and a Toyota Sienna car were recovered during the various operations during the period.
Similarly, Navy ship VICTORY in Cross River intercepted and impounded three wooden boats laden with drums of suspected illegally Refined Petrol (PMS) around Ikang channel, suspected to be transported to Cameroon.
However, the Navy said, the boats as well as the products were taken into custody.
Vaughan said ”Forward Operating Base (FOB) Bonny in Rivers” also intercepted two wooden boats laden with about 400,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil at Iwokiri.
The wooden boats and products, he said, were destroyed.
Similarly, he said, the Navy ship SOROH in Bayelsa intercepted a wooden boat laden with about 60,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO.
Subsequently, the boat and contents, he added were destroyed.(
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has seized contraband worth N27.6 million within two weeks in Kebbi State.
The Area Controller of the command, Mr Joseph Attah, made this known while briefing newsmen in Birnin Kebbi on Wednesday.
He said, “In compliance with the Federal Government’s directives aimed at ensuring food security in the country, the Command has strengthened vigilance at the borders to check any attempt to smuggle out food produce.
“To this end, the Command has intercepted an articulated vehicle fully loaded with bags of grains.
“The outbound Daf truck was intercepted by officers and men of the Command along Kamba-Bunza Road on Sunday, 15 May, and a physical examination of the truck revealed that it was carrying 800 bags of white sorghum with a Duty Paid Value of N6.2 million.
Attah also added that one trailer was intercepted by our vigilant officers conveying the same white sorghum along Kamba Road.
“But upon the driver’s failure to produce export documents, the truck was detained in our Headquarters and was later released on compassionate ground with the owner promising to return the product to their warehouse for domestic consumption.
“But upon the release of the truck, they went and trans-loaded the content into another truck which we intercepted as they tried to evade our officers’ checks. The owner’s repeated attempt to smuggle this food produce has failed with this interception,” he said.
According to him, the ongoing crisis between countries known for grain production has created an uncertainty in the global market.
He noted that it is imperative to secure the locally-produced grains to avoid plunging Nigeria into food crisis.
“In addition to putting our officers and men on high alert, we have undertaken stakeholders’ engagements across all our borders, enlightening border communities on the implication of exporting farm produce, especially grains,” he said.
Attah also revealed that the command had, from 1 May to 15 May, seized 209 jerricans of Premium Motor Spirits (PMS), 18 jerricans of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), and a Daf Truck used as means of conveyance.
“This is in addition to 39 bags of foreign parboiled rice, five cartons of medicament and 10 bales of second-hand clothing, among others.
“The Duty Paid Value of all the items in the period under review is N27.6 million, and amount generated as fees from the auction sales of the PMS and AGO have been remitted to the Federal Government,” he said.
The controller expressed the command’s readiness to facilitate trade for stakeholders who chose to transact their business through the command following the reopening of Kamba border and the reactivation of the Command’s ICT. .
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), has urged the Federal Government to pay marketers their bridging claims to enable them to begin lifting petroleum products from the depots..
The IPMAN Public Relations Officer, Alhaji Yakubu Suleiman said this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday.
NAN reports that IPMAN claims the Federal Government owes its members N500 billion as bridging claims also known as transportation claims.
Suleiman also urged the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to convert the special allocation of products meant for cargo to IPMAN in order to quickly address the current shortage of fuel in the country.
“We are calling on the Nigeria downstream and mainstream regulatory authorities to try and pay our marketers their bridging claims as from today.
“This is important, so that as soon as we get the payment, we can give directives to marketers to start loading their trucks, so that they can start transporting petroleum products.
“We are calling on the authorities and the NNPC to quickly allocate a certain cargo of AGO for IPMAN to distribute it to their members to enable them fuel their trucks for accelerated bridging loading.
“There is no money to buy the product until the Federal Government pays our claims and assist in allocating a cargo of AGO to us to hasten loading from various loading deports,” Suleiman said.
Reacting to the claims by IPMAN, an official of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) who spoke under condition of anonymity said the Federal Government had been paying the marketers, though in batches.
According to the official, IPMAN is one of our key stakeholders and we have a committee looking into issues bothering the association.
NAN also recalls that IPMAN had in a news conference held recently urged Nigerians to prepare for the worse fuel crisis unless the Federal Government prevails on NMDPRA to pay its members their outstanding bridging claims amounting to N500 billion.
Most filling stations in Abuja were shut down at the weekend following scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, thereby, resulting to long queues.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.), however, attributed the sudden appearance of fuel queues in parts of Abuja to low load-outs at depots.
A statement by Garba Muhammad, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Department, NNPC had on Monday, said this usually happened during long public holidays (Sallah celebrations).
Muhammad said another contributing factor to the sudden appearances of queues was the increased fuel purchases which were also common with returning residents of the FCT from the public holidays.
The Nigerian Navy (NN), says its newly-inaugurated operation `Dakatar Da Barawo (OPDDB), has made a series of arrests and seizures of ships and crew members across the nation’s maritime domain involved in illegal activities.
The Director of Information, Naval Headquarters, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, made this known in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that OPDDB was inaugurated by the service on April 1, to check the increasing crude oil theft (COT) and related acts of economic sabotage in the nation’s maritime domain.
According to him, NN ship SOROH at Yenagoa, on April 23, during a patrol of Mbiama, Kiama and Sagbama axis, discovered two empty tanker-trucks close to Sagbama waterside, neither a loading site nor a tank farm.
Ayo-Vaughan, however, added that the two trucks were subsequently impounded.
Similarly, the base intercepted a market boat at Odioma-Diema axis along Akassa-Brass route, laden with over 3,500 litres of suspected crude oil products concealed in drums and gallons which were subsequently seized.
In a related development, NN ship DELTA in Warri on April 25, deactivated an Illegal Refining Site (IRS) around Sara creek in Warri South-West.
“A total of 30 refining , 35 big metal storage tanks and four large pits cumulatively filled with about 500,000 litres of illegally refined diesel (AGO) and 700,000 litres of stolen crude oil were deactivated.
“Also, on April 25, NN ship SOROH identified and proceeded to a newly re-constructed IRS off Otuofor creek in Sangana, Brass Local Government Area.
“The site has two refining ovens, two empty storage tanks and a large wooden boat containing about 100,000 litres of illegally sourced crude oil. These were all destroyed in situ.“
Thereafter, NN ship SOROH searched adjoining creeks around Kotipiri fishing camp before proceeding to another IRS at Ereweibio creek, Sangana Brass LGA.
“A total of 15 large pits, 10 ovens, seven large metal storage tanks, drums and sacks all containing about 500,000 litres of illegally sourced crude oil, 400,000 litres of illegally refined AGO.
`About 20,000 litres of illegally refined kerosene were also discovered and de-activated accordingly.
“Additionally, one 40Hp Yamaha engine, one power series 5,000Watts generator and one Pumping machine were seized from the site.“
Meanwhile, on April 26, NN ship DELTA at Sara creek in Warri South-West of Delta discovered a total of 15 illegal refining , 18 metal storage tanks, and two large pits all laden with a total of about 150,000 litres of illegally refined AGO and 400,000 litres of stolen crude oil. These were all crushed and destroyed.
“On the same day, the base intercepted one large wooden boat laden with about 200,000 Litres of stolen crude oil hidden in a creek around Ekpemu community in Warri North Local Government Area.
“Accordingly, the wooden boat and product were destroyed in situ while two pumping machines were seized.”
However, on April 30, NN ship PATHFINDER in Port Harcourt intercepted one wooden boat laden with unspecified quantity of illegally refined AGO at Isaka junction.
According to him, the base also conducted swamp buggy operations in Cawthorne channel and later intercepted two wooden boats laden with unspecified quantity of products suspected to be locally refined AGO.
In a similarly development, Forward Operating Base (FOB) Bonny, on the same day, intercepted a large Cotonou wooden boat tied to a branch and ladened with about 300,000 litres of product suspected to be locally refined AGO.
This, he said, were all neutralised appropriately.
“On the same day, NN ship DELTA located an IRS around Ogbodede community in Warri South Local Government Area. The site has two ovens, seven metal storage tanks and 10 large pits cumulatively laden with about 275,000 litres of stolen crude oil.
“But the criminals fled before the arrival of the naval patrol team. Nevertheless, the IRS was deactivated.
“Meanwhile, further exploitation by the base led to the discovery of an inactive IRS off Asisan creek in Warri South Local Government Area.“
The director, however, added that the IRS was under construction with one oven already constructed. The site was subsequently destroyed.
“In summary, OPDDB witnessed the recovery of over 2,178,500 litres (13,703 barrels) of stolen crude oil, about 787,500,000 litres of AGO and 20,000 litres of Kerosene (DPK), all valued above N1.7 billion, pertinently, with respect to previous seizures and recoveries during OPDDB for the month of April.
“The service denied oil thieves and economic saboteurs an estimated N10,701,793,052 worth of crude oil and related products for the month of April.“ (
The Defence Headquarters says troops of Operation Delta Safe have deactivated more illegal refining sites, recovered large quantity of stolen products in Niger Delta within three weeks.
The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, said this while briefing newsmen on the operations of the armed forces in the lasr three weeks on Thursday in Abuja.
Onyeuko said the troops had continued to clamp down on the activities of oil thieves and other criminal elements in different parts of Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers respectively.
He said the troops discovered several illegal refining sites with 133 ovens, 194 metal tanks storage, 127 dugout pits, five wooden boats, 12 receivers, two engines, two pumping machines and five trucks among other things.
He said a total of 7.7 million litres of crude oil and 10.8 million litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) were recovered within the period under review, adding that the recovered items had been handed over to the appropriate authorities for further action.
the defence spokesperson further said that troops of Operation Dakatar Da Barawo, also discovered and destroyed several illegal refinery sites with 145 ovens, 201 storage metal tanks, nine pumping machines.
Other items according to him, are one Yamaha 40HP outboard engines, 55 dugout pits, 58 drums of AGO, two wooden boats, 100 polythene bags illegally refined AGO and one tanker loaded with illegal refined AGO.
“Cumulatively, within the weeks under review, a total of 1.7 million litres of AGO, 3.8illion litres of crude oil, 350,000 litres of sludge, 20,000 litres of PMS and 100,000 litres of DPK were recovered.
“All arrested criminals and recovered items were handed over to the appropriate authorities for further actions,” he said.