11 January 2016, Uyo — No fewer the sixty-six persons were arrested by officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Akwa Ibom State in 2015 over NEPA, pipe-line vandalisation and adulteration of petroleum products.
A breakdown of the number showed that seven convictions were made, seven cases were disposed of, 34 cases are still pending in court while 18 cases were abandoned due to lack of witnesses to testify in court.
The State Commandant of the NSCDC, Commandant Emmanuel O. Ojeniyi disclosed this while briefing the media on the activities, challenges and breakthrough of the Corps last year.
At the exhibit yard of the NSCDS in Itam village of Itu local government area of the state, THISDAY observed that more than 80 trucks including two mobile refinery vans, tankers, various brand of cars and hundreds of 250 litres of jerry cans were impounded by the corps.
Ojeniyi stressed that despite several attempts to bribe officials of the Corps by the victims of pipeline vandalisation, the agency remained focused in protecting and monitoring oil pipelines in the state, saying such bribe money in thousands of naira used to be collected and recorded against the victims.
“In Akwa Ibom State, we have arrested many vandals that even bribed officials with thousands of naira. The money is collected as evidence and tendered in court”, he disclosed. He commended other sister security outfits in the state whose cooperation, he said led to the successes recorded by the NSCDC in the fight against oil vandals in the state. According to him, the level of pipeline vandalisation has reduced since Corps were given the task of protecting oil pipeline in the state.
The State NSCDC Commandant said revealed that one of the challenges that the Corps had was the use of sophisticated weapons by the vandals to attack his men saying now that the NSCDC is well equipped with weapons such threat was no more a barrier in the execution of their job.
“We have men and officers who competent to handle the mandate of monitoring pipeline vandalism in the state. Members of the public should report any case of pipeline vandalism, adulterated fuel and tempering with NEPA installation,” he said.
Such information disclosed, the Ojeniyi said would be treated in secrecy and the source protected asking members Nigerians to engage themselves in activities that will not affect the economy of the country negatively.
*Okon Bassey – Thisday