16 October 2012, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC on Tuesday affirmed that it has not in any way called off the search for one of its staff who was reported to be missing since late September while commuting from Lagos to Abuja.
Mr. Sylvester Emefiele, an Electrical and Electronics Technologist who is a staff of the NNPC Transformation Office under the Corporate Planning and Strategy Division of the Corporation, was last seen after boarding an Abuja bound Abanje Transport Company vehicle from Ikorodu in Lagos on September, 23. 2012.
Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Mr. Fidel Pepple explained in a statement that the Corporation is working with detectives from the State Security Service and the Nigeria Police to locate his whereabouts as soon as possible.
“Our target is not only to locate and rescue Mr. Emefiele but also to ensure as much as possible that he is unhurt. Thus immediately the matter came to the notice of Management the GMD promptly instructed that steps be taken not only to ensure his safety but also to protect his immediate family from anything untoward,” Mr. Pepple said.
The NNPC spokesman explained that in line with the Corporation’s standard security procedure, the Security Department quickly informed the leadership of the Nigeria Police and the State Security Service at the FCT Abuja level but later escalated the matter to the national level when clues emerged that the crime could have gone beyond the boundaries of the FCT.
“Though I may not be able to give you a blow by blow account of what we have done as a Corporation since 23rd September, 2012, due to the obvious implication for the investigation, I can confirm that the SSS has since assigned an Assistant Director to take full charge of the case. At our own level we have a regular Management review session under the direct supervision of the Group Executive Director in charge of Cooperate Services,” he said.
On the concerns reportedly raised by the Emefiele family over the handling of the case by the Corporation, Mr. Fidel explained that the Corporation has done much and still doing everything within its powers to rescue the missing staff and ensure the safety and comfort of his family.
“We totally understand the agony and pain the family is going through at this period and we share in their hurt and tribulations. Before now we had offered the family police protection which was turned down; even at that we have intensified regular interface with the family through our security department as well as the staff welfare unit,’’ he stated.