The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC) and Nigerian Navy have pledged collaboration in the fight against crime and illegal oil dealings in Rivers State.
The two security agencies came up with this at a strategic meeting between the State Commandant of NSCDC, Michael Besong Ogar and Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder Port Harcourt; Commodore SD Ibrahim at the naval command headquarters in Port Harcourt at the weekend.
According to Ogar, the meeting was premised on the need to cement the long-term existing relationship with the Nigerian Navy which he said remains a critical partner in the fight against illegal dealings in petroleum products across the coastal region.
Commandant Ogar noted that from the series of arrests made by the Command and cases handed over for prosecution by the NNS Pathfinder, the NSCDC Rivers State Command through her Legal Department has gotten forfeitures of 39 boats and proceeds remitted to the Federal Government coffers.
He further noted that11 suspects had been convicted for illegal oil bunkering activities, vandalism of oil pipelines, conspiracy and economic sabotage while 30 suspects are currently being arraigned in court.
While extolling the outstanding role of the Nigerian Navy and the level of relationship with the NSCDC; Commandant Michael Ogar solicited for a more robust synergy especially in the areas of training and retraining of personnel, sharing of intelligence before, during and after tactical operations to enhance the war against criminally minded persons sabotaging the nation’s economy through illegal oil bunkering activities in Rivers State.
On his part, the Commander Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder Port Harcourt; Commodore SD Ibrahim called for a concerted effort by the security agencies and all critical stakeholders in the fight against illegal oil bunkering in Rivers State which he said had overtime erupted into environmental degradation, health hazards and pollution of the Marine life.
He maintained that the war against vandals would not be limited to arrests of suspects on the waterways alone but also extended to their sponsors and potential buyers of the products noting that with thorough investigation the prosecuting agencies must dig deep into such cases to unravel the numerous actors behind the crime.
Commodore Ibrahim assured that his command would give maximum support to the NSCDC Rivers State Command in capacity building for effective service delivery, intelligence gathering, joint operations and unrelenting war against pipeline vandalism in order to rid the nation’s economy of saboteurs.