Seven Oil Thieves Bag 84 Years Jail Term

Oil thievesJustice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday convicted and sentenced seven men to a prison term of 84 years for dealing in 1,459 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit otherwise known as petroleum product without obtaining lawful authority.

The convicts, who will each serve a jail term of 12 years, commencing from Friday, October 30 2015, are Adedamola Ogungbayi, Olaniran Olabode, Suraju Gasali and Moses Emmanuel.

Others are Wilson Bonsi, Okaraodi Uche and Onyeogo Happy.

The judge also ordered the forfeiture of the vessel, MT Good Success, used by the convicts in perpetrating the crime, as well as the recovered petroleum product to the Federal Government.

In addition, Abang further ordered the forfeiture of the sums of N66.6m and $975,000 belonging to the convicts’ company, Hepa Global Energy Limited, domiciled with the First City Monument Bank.

He ordered the filing of an affidavit of compliance with the order within 21 days of the judgment.

The seven convicts, their vessel and company had on August 28, 2014 been re-arraigned on five counts before Abang, alongside one Padoun Jacob, who was on Friday discharged and acquitted by the court.

The judge, in setting Jacob free on all the five counts, described him as a desperate job seeker, who became a victim of circumstances.

He noted that the stolen product had been loaded before Jacob was employed by Hepa Global Energy Limited on February 7, 2014.

“The guilty should not escape punishment but the innocent should not be punished,” the judge held.

He, however, described the other convicts as enemies of the corporate existence of Nigeria, who had contributed to the economic woes of the country.

“The convicts have no sympathy for the corporate existence of this country. The seed of wrongdoing may be sown in secret but the harvest cannot be concealed. Today is the day of reckoning.

“You call it oil bunkering or pipeline vandalism, this menace has reached an alarming proportion in this country; enough is enough.

“The convicts are godless and lawless, without any particle of sympathy for this country. They are part of the people that have contributed to the economic woes of this country.

“The convicts planted thorns, they cannot expect to gather flowers; they sowed the wind, and they must gather whirlwind,” the judge held.

Although he noted that each of counts one to four attracted life sentence, he, however, sentenced each of the seven convicts to 10 years on each of the counts, to run concurrently from the judgment day.

He also sentenced each of them to two years on the fifth count.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, had told the judge that the convicts violated sections 19(c) and 17 of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

To prove his case, Oyedepo called a total of 11 witnesses, leading to the conviction and imprisonment of the seven convicts.

Navy Hands Over 20 Suspected Oil Thieves To EFCC

Crude Oil thievesThe Central Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, with headquarters in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, has handed over 20 suspected crude oil thieves to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The handing over of the suspects took place on Wednesday at the command’s Forward Operating Base, Formoso, Brass, Bayelsa State.

The suspects including 18 Nigerians, one Camerounian and one Ghanaian were on board the vessel MV ELMINA.

The Commanding Officer, FOB Formoso, Capt. Noel Madugu, said the suspects were arrested at Sangana River in Brass Local Government Area of the state.

He said that during the time of arrest, the captain of the ship could not provide the relevant documents  to lift crude oil.

Capt Madugu also said the suspects declared they were loading Automated Gas Oil (diesel), but when the products were tested, it was discovered to be crude oil.

Capt Madugu, who paraded the suspects before handing them over to the officials of the EFCC, Port Harcourt office, noted that the culprits were arrested around 1.30am local time on August 7, 2014.

The commanding officer said: “About 1.30am, August 7, 2014, MV ELMINA was intercepted coming out of the creeks of Sangana River entrance in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

“The vessel and her crew were intercepted by NNS BOMADI while on routine patrol of the area.

“Upon arrest, the actions of the crew during interrogation indicated that they had carried out the dubious activity as they refused initially to answer their radio until several warning shots”.

Madugu said the ship was however boarded and discovered that she was loaded with crude oil.

According to Capt. Madugu, the vessel was safely escorted and anchored at Brass River where she was detained for further interrogation.

Madugu gave the names of the suspects as Lucky Osiebe, captain; Adakole Onmoniji, Chief engineer; Monday Esemutoye; Tonwoye College; Collins Ograko; Odaba Divine; Dutie Ezetu; Frederick Onwoievbe;  Bonley Atangeho and Dover Abruda.

Others, according to Madugu, are Joe Richard, Campala Lewis, Efe Godday, Aaron Amohefe, Reuben Dabbi, Joseph Koey,  Ponmile Gideon, Wafo Marcel, Dominion Agbo and Akinbolu David.

The Nigerian government had ordered the Navy and other security agencies to tackle oil theft in the Niger delta region,as it was affecting revenue generated from crude oil sales.

 

NSCDC Parades Six Suspected Oil Thieves, Vandals

Civil DefenceIn line with its declaration of war against vandals of critical infrastructure and national assets, the Nigeria Security And Civil Defence Corp, NSCDC, has apprehended and paraded six suspected oil thieves.

Parading the suspects in Abuja on Friday, Commandant-General of the Corp, Dr Ade Abolurin, said that the oil thieves were arrested in Dobi area of Gwagwalada on the outskirt of the Federal Capital Territory while offloading a 33,000 litre truck containing stolen petroleum product.

Dr Abolurin said that the suspected vandals arrested by the Corp’s anti-vandal squad and the oil thieves would be prosecuted as soon as investigations are completed.

He, however, appealed to Nigerians to volunteer information to security agencies that would lead to the arrest of vandals and criminally minded persons.

Navy Promises To Rid Calabar Of Oil Thieves

The commanding officer, NNS Victory, Commodore James Oluwole has said that his command will rid Calabar of pirates, pipeline vandals, and sea robbers, adding that safety will be restored to the coastal city.

Commodore Oluwole said this, while parading a suspected pirate, Orok Okon who was caught with several gallons of stolen petrol.

Commodore Oluwole told journalists in the Cross River State capital that Okon was caught with stolen PMS from the NNPC Jetty in Calabar, as he was heading to the dry land for sales before being apprehended.

The product had been stored in gallons and hipped into a large wooden boat from the waters.

According to the Commodore, luck ran out of one of the suspects, Orok Okon who was the only one caught as others escaped on siting the BASE Operation officers and his men on patrol.

Oluwole said that the Navy in synergy with other security agencies will continue to join hands with the Chief of Naval Staff’s campaign on ‘Say No to Crude Oil Theft, be Warned by The Nigerian Navy’ to fight sea pirates until crime on the water ways is eradicated to zero level.

He promised to ensure safety on Nigeria’s waterways.

The suspect, the commodore added, will be handed over to NSCDC for further prosecution to serve as a deterrent to others still involved in this economic sabotage.

Doyin Okupe denies condemning Ribadu panel report

The Special Assistant to the President on Publicity, Dr Doyin Okupe was asked by Chamberlain Usoh; the main anchor of ourbreakfast programme ‘Sunrise Daily’ to give an update on the Ribadu report, and he responded saying the President has said the report will not be discarded.

And to fulfil his promise he has setup a white paper committee to look at the report and that he believes it will put an end to several talks on the report.

Prevoius Article: Presidency rubbishes Ribadu’s report

Watch complete interview for more details.

Oil Sector Probes: There is a rot in the system – Oil and gas expert

Still on the controversial probe into the nation’s oil sector, an oil and gas expert; Kestin Pondi, while speaking on the Ribadu report, stated that the report has proved to people of the Niger Delta in the creek that the claims of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and the NNPC that they lose 150,000 barrels of crude oil daily to oil thieves is fallacious.

Mr Pondi, considers what happens in the oil offices in Abuja to be a ‘monumental fraud’ as there is a rot in the system.

He further alleged that it is the figures given by these IOC’s and oil multinationals as the quantity of oil produced per day that is being depended on.

Watch complete interview for more details.

Fuel subsidy is a mega-fraud in Nigeria – Tam David West

Taking on the controversial probe into the nation’s oil sector led by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, former Minister of Petroleum Professor Tam David West, on Sunrise Daily stated that, what the Federal Government is doing is a “charade because a government that deceives its citizens consistently is sad.”

The former Minister, who has always claimed that the nation’s fuel subsidy regime is nothing but fraud, again affirmed his position saying there is no fuel subsidy in Nigeria rather what exists is ‘fuel subsidy mega-fraud.’

He argued that his allegation has been proven by the recent controversies on investigations into the sector by the committees led by Farouk Lawan and Nuhu Ribadu.

Professor David-West also revealed that he has challenged the Federal Government for a public debate on the issue but he has never gotten a response to the offer.

The Federal Government on Thursday appointed another committee, made of serving Ministers to draft out a white paper from the controversial special task force report on the petroleum revenue submitted by the Ribadu committee.

Ribadu Report: Filing a minority report should have been Oronsanye’s option

The Chairman Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Enyinanya Abaribe,has described the acrimony witnessed during the submission of the Ribadu report to President Jonathan as very disrespectful and rude to office of the President.

According to the Senator, “trading words in front of President Jonathan is very disrespectful and rude to office of the President .”

“If there are arguments between members of a particular committee, rather than the open disagreement, the parties involved should instead file a separate report while coming in for the presentation and submit to the higher office.”

“That is what Oronsanye would have done rather than discredit the Ribadu report” stated Senator Abaribe, who was a guest on a breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.

On the plethora of investigations and reports into corruption of the nation’s oil sector, Senator Abaribe stated that the Senate report on the oil sector would be looked through plus other reports, once the Senate resumes from the Sallah break.

According to Abaribe, the Senate will look at all the report, nothing will be different from what is presently going around with the Ribadu report.

FG to create task force on crude oil theft

The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Oluseyi Petinrin, on Friday said that the Federal Government has approved the constitution of a task force to curb crude oil theft in Nigeria.

The Air Marshall disclosed this while addressing journalists during a stakeholders’ meeting on security in the oil and gas industry in Lagos.

He said that the responsibility of the task force will be to halt the incessant oil theft in the country and that most senior army personnel and other security agencies would be included in the team to bring sanity.

“I quite agree with the collective decision of the stakeholders on ways to address oil theft in the country.

“All the security agencies will ensure adequate monitoring of the country’s oil thefts to logical conclusion,” Petinrin said.

Diezani Alison-Madueke, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, said that over 180 million barrels of crude oil were lost on daily basis in the country.

Translating the 180 million barrels into monetary terms the Managing Director of Shell, Mutiu Sunmonu had on Thursday during a meeting with the executive secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Zainab Ahmed in Abuja said Nigeria loses $5billion yearly to crude oil theft.

Mrs Allison-Madueke said the new task force would include both indigenous and international oil chiefs.

The minister said that it had been observed that in the last six months, the number of oil theft on Nigerian water was high.

“This crude oil theft affects both our environment and economic values in Nigeria,’’ she said.