14 October 2012, Sweetcrude, Lagos – THE suspected owner of the stolen petroleum cargo that was traced to the storage facilities of Integrated Oil and Gas Company owned by former Minister of Interior, Captain Emmanuel Ihenacho, has been arrested
Speaking on the development, Commander of the Maritime Guard Command of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Captain Promise Dappa said that the arrested suspect, Mr. Gbenga Olagoke turned himself in when he got wind of plans to declare him wanted.
Dappa also stated that the suspect is currently with the State Security Service (SSS) and under going interrogation.
He said that the Company and office of the suspect PDR Ventures in Amuwo Odofin have been visited in the course of investigation.
The Naval officer explained that this particular transaction was arranged with all the parties involved in August, adding, that the agency had kept a tab on them from the time the vessel took off from Europe.
It will be recalled that the owner of integrated Oil and Gas Limited, Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho was arrested over his alleged involvement in the movement and storage of a vessel: ‘M.T. Grace’ laden with suspected stolen petroleum products.
Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi said that the search for the sponsors of these pirates led the agency to trace the stolen products to Integrated Oil and Gas Tank farm.
Shortly before the arrest of Captain Ihenacho, his tank farm was sealed off pending investigation. The authorities have since unsealed the depot.
He said NIMASA has come to the realisation that behind the facade there are kingpins and the big men who facilitate piracy, adding that, the Agency in collaboration with other security operatives will unravel the people behind the sale, purchase and storage of the stolen products.
“You will recall that we had cause to parade some pirates here and we did say that we were going to continue to look for those who were behind these pirates because we came to the realisation that behind the facade there are the kingpins and the big men who facilitate piracy.
“So in line with our promise to the Nigerian public, we intensified our search for the big men behind the scene and we are happy to tell you today that we have been able to trace them to a company, a major company Integrated Oil and Gas.
“The products that were stolen from the activities of piracy were conveyed and stored at Integrated Oil and Gas. As we speak we have sealed off the company and we have arrested the top management of the company,” the NIMASA director general claimed then.