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Nigerian govt justifies burning of oil theft vessel, says investigation not needed



The Federal Government, on Friday, defended the destruction of an oil bunkering vessel by security operatives.

The Nigerian Navy had on Monday destroyed a vessel seized with stolen crude by a private security company commanded by former Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, in the Niger Delta.

The vessel which was loaded with 600 to 650 cubic metres of stolen crude oil in five compartments was arrested alongside its seven-member crew along the creeks in the Niger Delta on October 6.
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, who reacted to the development after the National Security Council meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at Aso Villa in Abuja, said the action was in line with rules of engagement

Irabor noted that the seized vessel was caught in the act and security agents did what was required by setting it ablaze, adding there was no need for any investigation.

Read also:Oil theft killing economy, as 265 illegal refineries uncovered in SPDC corridor

He said, “There are various approaches, various solutions to a problem and at any time based on certain factors, certain considerations, available to those that are at the frontline, actions are taken based on the directive which are contained in the rules of engagement.

So, the burning of the vessel, it is because the thief was caught in the act and the procedure, if you are caught in the act, is that everything you are using to undertake that criminal activity should be destroyed and that was done.

“What investigation do you need that you find somebody who decided to deplore several pumping machines and has several hoses that are deployed to a dug out pit where crude oil is stored over a period?

“It was caught in the act. So, the instrument of operation was what was destroyed. I think it is straightforward. Whether that is the best is a different matter entirely but did they act in line with the rules of engagement? Yes, they did.”

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