By Paul Michael
The Akwa Ibom State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Thursday said it has arrested and arraigned 69 alleged oil thieves in the State between January and March 2022.
NSCDC Commandant in Akwa Ibom, Abidemi Majekodunmi, said this in an interactive session with newsmen while adding that the Corps would not relent on its mandate to protect critical infrastructure and ensure that economic saboteurs were brought to justice.
According to Majekodunmi, in the first quarter of the year, the agency placed significant emphasis on the protection of critical national assets and infrastructure.
He said, “Here in Akwa Ibom, we do know that the networks of pipelines are much and definitely, we have criminals and non-state actors tampering with the pipelines for economic profiteering and sabotage.
“What we have done is to ensure that we deploy intelligence, capital and assets to ensure that we do activities that serve as a deterrent to these non-state actors that are always eager to steal petroleum products.
“When we get quality intelligence, we plan and execute operations to arrest. Currently, we have about seven boats. In that particular case, we have 69 suspects and illegal dealers in petroleum products.
“They have been charged to court and of course, we have done investigations and profiling of the cases for the court to do the appropriate adjudication.”
The State Commandant said that the Service was proactive in intelligence gathering across the 31 Local Government Areas of the state, to check criminality, The Trumpet gathered.
While adding that NSCDC over the years had deployed technology to reach all criminal hideouts as part of its crime-fighting efforts in the state, he called on communities to protect government infrastructure in their area against vandalism and to see the facilities as their own.
He further said that the Service would continue to promote crisis management and be proactive in dealing with conflicts in the state through peace and conflict resolution.
While calling on the media to ensure objectivity in its reportage to guarantee peace and security across the country, he warned oil thieves, pipeline vandals and other criminals to relocate from the State as the Command would deal decisively with all economic saboteurs.