The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Baba, says the police leadership is committed to sustaining the fight against oil theft and other crimes capable of vandalize the country’s economy.
He elucidate that the police would continuously develop an improved capacity of officers through practical training and obtain top-notch investigative and operational assets to ensure the hazard was reduced to the stripped minimum.
A statement on Sunday by the Force Public Relations Officer(FPRO), Olumuyiwa Adejobi, revealed that the police chief made the remarks while briefing a probe panel comprising members of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Oil Lifting, Theft and the Impact on Petroleum Production and Oil Revenues, by-use a report on the activities of the IGP Special Task Force on Petroleum and Illegal Bunkering.
Baba, during the session held last Wednesday, recounted the achievements of the IGP Special Task Force on Petroleum and Illegal Bunkering (STFPIB) – the police unit charged with the authority of tackling the specialized crimes in the period under review.
These include the convulsives of 1,301,020 litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), 135,000 litres of crude oil, 4,900 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), 45,000 litres of engine oil, and 123 vessels comprising tankers, lorries, barges, buses, lorries, and other vehicles.
The Unit currently has 52 cases under prosecution nationwide,” the statement said. “In one of the cases, operatives of the IGP-STFPIB successfully discovered and busted the operations of an illegal refinery on 21st September 2022 in Jijoro Community Riverside, Delta State, a creek of about an hour boat ride.
“Suspected illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) stuffed in 158 sacks, 12 empty surface tanks (ovens) used as cooking pots, 25 empty drums for storage, one boat engine, and two pumping machines were recovered. Three suspects, Happy Gift Lawson ‘M’ aged 18, Ejime Precious Lande ‘M’ aged 22, and John Jugu Fom ‘M’ aged 25 were equally arrested.”
The IGP, on his part, restated that the police would not relent in enforcing all laws as legislation empowered to charge all suspects arrested for oil theft and other related offences accordingly, without any preconception.
He also called for increased support, particularly in expanding the scope of the courts and conferring dominion competency to hear petroleum and illegal bunkering matters, as well as provision of storage capacity for exhibits recovered during special operations pending the determination of suits by the courts.