JTF backs proposed special court for oil theft

Nigeria-oil-theft08 August 2013, Lagos – The Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta, known as Operation Pulo Shield, has lauded the idea of establishing a special court to try oil thieves in the region.

The National Economic Council last month approved the establishment of a special court to try suspected oil thieves with existing legislation to expedite prosecution of suspects.

The JTF spokesman, Lt.-Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, made the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

Nwachukwu described the special court as a welcome development, adding that it would support the efforts of the JTF to rid the region of oil thieves.

He said the slow judicial process in the country was a clog in the wheel of progress in the JTF’s fight against the menace of oil theft, explaining that most suspects awaiting trial returned to the crime shortly after they were granted bail.

He said, “It is indeed a welcome development in as much as it will expedite the trial of oil theft suspects and really give them the deserved penalties and put them away for a long while.

“If this really happens, it will amount to a very positive deviation from the past when arrested oil thieves make a mockery of our effort.

“This is because they know that they will be left off the hook soon as we hand them over for prosecution. Our efforts will no longer amount to futility.”

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