EFFC Begins Trial Of Patrick Akpobolokemi, Three Others

EFCC, Patrick AkpobolokemiThe trial involving former NIMASA DG, Patrick Akpobolokemi, retired Major-General Emmanuel Atewe, and two others has begun at the Federal High Court Ikoyi Lagos.

Prosecution witness for the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Teslim Ajuwon, has revealed evidence to the court.

While answering questions from the counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, Mr Teslim said that over eight billion Naira was transferred from the Nigerian Maritime Administration And Safety Agency (NIMASA) to the joint task force, Operation Pulo shield.

He also revealed that within a number of days, the monies were distributed to six different companies, during the tenure of Patrick Akpobolokemi.

Mr Teslim further stated that the transaction instrument which transferred the part of the monies to Jaggan limited, was signed by the two signatories of the JTF which included Major General Emmauel Atewe.

Justice Saidu Salu, however, adjourned the case till November 22, while cross examination will begin on December 5, 2016.

The trial is coming months after a High Court in Igbosere dismissed an application by Mr Akpobolokemi, challenging its jurisdiction to entertain his trial.

 

At the hearing held on March 21, Justice R.I.B. Adebiyi threw out Akpobolokemi’s suit, stressing that the application lacked merit.

“This court finds preliminary objections raised by 1st and 4th defendants/ applicants to lack merit. both preliminary objections are accordingly dismissed,” he said.

Pipeline Attacks: Navy Urges Militants To Embrace Dialogue

Navy, Militants, Niger DeltaChief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Etteh-Ibas, has urged restive youths in the Niger Delta to sheath their swords and embrace peaceful means of pressing home their demands.

Vice Admiral Ibas was speaking at the flag-off of phase two of Operation Tsare Teku, the Nigerian Navy’s anti-piracy operations in the Niger Delta region.

He said that compared to the first quarter of 2016 which recorded 49 cases of piracy on Nigerian waterways, during the first phase of the operation between May and June, only seven attacks were attempted and all were foiled.

This necessitated the extension of the operation for another three months.

The Navy Chief stated that the exercise would now extend its operations to provide support for the Operation Delta Safe which has metamorphosed from Operation Pulo Shield, to cover the whole of the Niger Delta region and surrounding waters.

He then asked the various militant groups to explore democratic means to press home their demands rather than resorting to violence.

The Chief of Training and Operations, Rear Admiral Adeniyi Oshinowo, further highlighted the Navy’s achievements with the establishment of Operation Tsare Teku in April.

He said that the operation has not only helped in the reduction of piracy on Nigerian waterways, but has also led to better collaboration between the Navy and major players in the Nigerian maritime sector.

NSCDC Parades Suspected Oil Bunkerer In Cross River

PIB0OIL bunkerers- NSCDCThe Cross River State Command of the Nigeria Security Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has paraded a suspected oil bunkerer with over 100 drums out of which, 70 contained AGO, pumping machine for bunkery, as well as other exhibits.

The suspect, Louis Ekwuazi, who hails from Eziagwu Local Government Area of Enugu State was arrested at Beach in Calabar South Local Government Area of the state by operatives of Sector 3 Operation Pulo Shield, following a raid on the area.

He was paraded shortly after being handed over to the NSCDC by the military at the State Command in Calabar, Cross River State capital.

The Civil Defense State Commandant, Dayo Adesuyi, commended the team for the show of collaboration towards ensuring that the state is a safe haven devoid of bunkering activities.

He sued for the continuous support of other security agencies, residents in the state, especially those in the creeks for timely report of criminals, engaged in such illegality.

The suspect, who said that he was a drum dealer in Cameroon, claimed that he purchased the product from the high sea in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Mr Adesuyi promised to ensure that the law takes its cause as soon as investigations are concluded.

FG Receives Repentant Niger Delta Militants 

Niger DeltaThe Federal Government will be receiving about 7,000 repentant militants in Akwa Ibom State on Saturday, January 23, 2016.

The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Co-ordinator of the Amnesty Program, Retired Brigadier-General Paul Boroh said that the repentant militants declared their interest to disarm and join the Niger Delta Amnesty programme.

He was speaking to journalists after an inter-agency meeting to discuss the recent attack on pipelines in the Niger Delta.

General Boroh added that the ex-agitators have also declared their willingness to be involved in plans to ensure the security of pipelines and oil facilities in the region.

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Ugure, had earlier hosted an inter-agency meeting, where strategies on how to counter the attacks on oil facilities were discussed.

Warri Pipeline Explosion

Facilities belonging to the Nigeria Gas Company, Chevron Nigeria Limited and Nigeria National Petroleum Company, NNPC were blown up by suspected militants on Friday, January 15 in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.

This has forced the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to announce the operational shutdown of the Port Harcourt and Kaduna Refineries owing to crude supply challenges arising from the attacks on vital crude oil pipelines.

Both the Nigerian Army and the Navy have described the attack as sabotage and terrorism which will not be tolerated.

The JTF Commander of Operation Pulo Shield in the Niger Delta, Major-General Alani Okunola, said that the task force had mobilised men to apprehend those who attacked the oil facilities.

He also warned community leaders that they would be held responsible for any attack on the country’s oil and gas facilities in their domains.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, while condemning the act, promised that no efforts would be spared in securing the lives and property of the citizens.

He also proposed the establishment of special courts and tribunals to tackle crimes in the maritime sector.

 

Defence Minister Arrives Warri To Inspect Pipeline Explosion Site

pipeline explosionThe Minister of Defence, Brigadier-General Mansur Dan-Ali (Rtd) has arrived at the Osubi Airport in Warri, Delta State for an on-the-spot assessment of oil facilities which exploded a few days ago.

On arrival, he moved to the 3 Battalion, Nigerian Army barracks for the guard of honour and a brief interaction with the troop.

On hand to receive the Minister was the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin; the Commander, Operation Pulo Shield, Major General Alani Gafar Okunola; Brigade Sector 1 Commander, Brigadier General Fanola Yahaya and the Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral A.O Sulaiman.

Representing the State Governor was the Secretary to the State Government, Ovie Agas, amongst other high ranking military officers and top government functionaries.

The JTF Commander of Operation Pulo Shield in the Niger Delta, Major-General Alani Okunola, had earlier inspected the site of the pipeline explosion.

He said that the task force was closing in on those responsible for blowing up oil pipeline and other facilities belonging to some oil companies and the Nigeria National Petroleum Company, NNPC.

He described the Friday attack in Warri South-West local government area of Delta State as economic sabotage which the military would not tolerate.

Warri Pipeline Explosion: Army Vows To Arrest Perpetrators

PipelineThe military says it has begun the deployment of troops in Delta State to apprehend those who attacked oil facilities in the state recently.

The Joint Task Force (JTF) described the Friday attack in Warri South-West local government area of Delta State as economic sabotage.

The JTF Commander of Operation Pulo Shield in the Niger Delta, Major-General Alani Okunola, said that the task force is closing in on those blowing up oil pipelines belonging to the Nigeria Gas Company, Chevron Nigeria Limited and Nigeria National Petroleum Company, NNPC.

While inspecting the site of the pipeline explosion, Major-General Okunola also warned community leaders that they would be held responsible for any attack on the country’s oil and gas facilities in their domains.

“There is no way we will fold our hands and allow the criminals to get away with it.

“It is a massive sabotage and critical to national assets; we must fish out those responsible for it.”

He described the act as not only criminal but capable of undermining the national security of Nigeria, adding that the pipeline vandals were able to carry out the act only because there were no men of the JTF on ground in the area.

The JTF boss visited the explosion site in company of the Brigade Commander, Farouk Yahaya and the Commander, 3 Battalion, Igwe Omoke.

Other top ranking officers of the Police, Navy, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and Air Force were part of the inspection team.

 

Nigerian Military Arrests Political Thugs In Bayelsa

Bayelsa-election-political-thugsTroops of the Operation Pulo Shield of the Nigerian Army have arrested five political thugs in the Okaka area of Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State.

The Commandant of the Operation, Major General Alani Okunlola, while speaking at a press briefing at the Operation Shield Headquarters, told journalists that the suspected political thugs were arrested at their hideout following a tip-off.

The suspects, according to the Commandant, had in their possession one 36 hand grenade, two empty AK47 rifle magazines, a pair of military uniform, combat boots and a bag containing personal belongings.

Major General Okunlola gave the assurance that his men would stop at nothing to make sure that no hoodlum or political thug perpetrates evil before, during and after the Saturday governorship election.

The Nigerian Police Force had placed an order restricting movements within the boundaries of Bayelsa and Kogi States with effect from 6.00am to 6.00pm on Saturday, December 5.

The force said that the restriction was in furtherance of strategies designed to prevent electoral fraud and violence and ensure a hitch-free election in Bayelsa and Kogi States.

Channels Television Correspondent, Seun Okinbaloye, has been in Bayelsa State to cover the election and he also confirmed the arrest.

We Killed 13 Policemen In Bayelsa – MEND

The Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), has claimed responsibility for the weekend attack on a group of policemen at Azuzama, southern Ijaw, in the creek of Bayelsa state during which some policemen were killed.

On Sunday, 13 policemen were killed after suspected militants ambushed their boat in a creek.

Three others including a police sergeant escaped death by swimming away to safety.

In a statement issued by its purported spokesman, Gbomo Jomo, MEND described the attack as a warning to the Joint Task Force (JTF), code named Operation Pulo Shield, which had earlier dismissed its threat of launching a fight it code named, Hurricane Exodus.

Part of the statement reads “for dismissing hurricane exodus as an “empty threat” by the Nigerian security forces, heavily armed fighters from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (M.E.N.D), at about 5pm, Saturday 06, April 2013, intercepted and engaged government security forces in a fierce gunfight lasting over forty minutes at Azuzama, southern Ijaw, Bayelsa state, Nigeria.”

The confirmation by MEND comes as the JTF says it has placed all its personnel in the Niger Delta on red alert, warning that it wouldn’t tolerate any form of lawlessness from anybody.

 

 

JTF sets stolen petroleum products ablaze in Calabar

The Joint (military) Task Force in Cross River state has traced and busted a hideout belonging to oil bunkers in the state.

The operation led by the Commanding officer, NNS Victory, Navy Commodore Kingdom Itoko and Operation Pulo Shield alongside different security agencies.

They stormed an uncompleted building at Bayside area and Jebs in Calabar South Local Government Area of the state where diesel was stored in over 500 gallons and buried in the river.

Briefing journalists at the bunkery spots, Commodore Kingdom disclosed that, he was acting under the command of the federal government that all illegal activities of such if detected is set ablaze.

The state security adviser, Rekpene Bassey, in his remarks stated that the state government has in strong terms condemned the act, and security agencies are on top of their game to ensure that this illegality does not thrive in Cross River State being a tourist destination.

The operation team also made an arrest of four boys and two ladies who are also illegal occupants at one of the sites where the illegal business is been carried out.

The stolen products were burnt by the JTF.

 

 

Police intensify search for abducted Bayelsa monarch

The police in Bayelsa and the State Security Service (SSS) have intensified search for the clan head of Okordia in Ikarama community, Yenagoa Local Government Area, Richard Seiba, who was abducted on Saturday morning by gunmen.

Local media reported that Security operatives have been combing the bushes and creeks for the 70-year-old monarch.

The community and family members of the monarch were said to have panicked as the gunmen had yet to contact them two days after the disappearance of their traditional ruler.

“We have been calling the phone number of our paramount ruler but it is not connecting. We learnt that when the gunmen came, they seized his phones. We are beginning to question the motive behind the abduction and we hope that our monarch is still alive,” a community member said.

Meanwhile, the Commander of the Niger Delta Joint Task Force codenamed, Operation Pulo Shield, Major-General Johnson Ochoga, and the Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, on Sunday evening, visited the palace of the abducted clan head of Okordia.

The governor was represented by his Special Adviser on Security, Lt. Col. Bernard Kenibai (retd), and other top government officials.

The state’s Director, SSS, Andrew Iorkyar, the Area Commander of the police and the Chairman of Yenagoa Local Government Area were among the delegates.

The delegates inspected the scene of the crime and held a brief meeting at the palace with the victim’s family members.