Nigeria’s Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, has expressed his unwavering commitment to take strong action against any officer implicated in oil theft within the nation.
Vice Admiral Ogalla, made these assertions during a press briefing at the conclusion of his initial familiarization tour of the Nigeria Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder in Port Harcourt last Friday.
He emphasized that the navy is steadfastly dedicated to addressing the issue and has already undertaken concrete measures to combat crude oil theft and other illicit activities within the nation’s territorial waters.
According to NewsDiary, Vice Admiral Ogalla stated, “We are conscious of allegations involving our officers in crude oil theft, although these claims lack substantial evidence.”
“Upon receiving such reports, we promptly initiate investigations. However, our findings have largely refuted these allegations. Nonetheless, should any veracity be established, we hold the accused personnel accountable and subject them to legal procedures in accordance with the Armed Forces Act.”
He emphasized that any personnel implicated in such wrongdoing will face severe repercussions, regardless of their rank or position.
He said “The penalties may encompass imprisonment and discharge from service. Historical instances have arisen, and appropriate measures were taken. Nevertheless, it is essential to note that over 97 percent of these claims stem from social media sources, lacking substantial substantiation.”
“In this age of social media, anyone can post content without proof or a complete understanding of the situation. On close examination, a majority of these allegations lack credible foundations.”
In a separate development on Thursday, a combined task force, Operation Delta Safe, unveiled three storage tanks used for illegal refined fuel in Bayelsa.
These reservoirs, situated along Tamara Street in Biogbolo, contained roughly 35,000 liters of Automated Gas Oil and 38 containers of illegally refined products loaded into a vehicle.
Commodore John Siyanbade, representing the OPDS Commander, Rear Adm. Olusegun Ferreira, conveyed, “The premises have been secured. Within the facility, we identified three dug-out pits, accompanied by a vehicle carrying approximately 38 jerry cans filled with unlawfully refined substances.”
He further cautioned individuals engaged in illegal activities within the region to cease their actions or face legal consequences.