Lagos -Highly-placed Nigerians, including traditional rulers, security personnel and youth leaders have been accused of involvement in oil theft in the country, a member of the NSCDC said.
Ferdinand Esiegwu, Deputy Corps Commander of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), made this in Benin, Edo State.
"The (oil theft) syndicate consists of highly placed Nigerians and influential members of oil bearing communities including traditional rulers as well as youth leaders and even security personnel who are hooked to the quick returns from the filthy money they make from such illegal businesses," he said.
He expressed dismay at the attitude shown by some business moguls and government officials he claimed visited NSCDC offices in Benin City to demand the release of their friends and relatives arrested in connection with pipeline vandalism.
"What is baffling is that when some of these arrests were made, highly placed individuals stormed the office of NSCDC requiring the release of their 'boys.' They range from businessmen, persons in government, both at the federal, state and local governments. One may then ask if these people are ruling or ruining this country," Esiegwu said.
Esiegwu disclosed that about 200 000 litres of illegally refined petroleum products were confiscated in the past six months in Edo State, while over 13 tankers were destroyed by burning on the directive and supervision of the Edo State government.
Esiegwu called for the establishment of forensic laboratory in all the Commands of the NSCDC, particularly in the states where vandalism and adulteration are prevalent in order to facilitate forensic analysis and prosecution of suspects.
- CAJ News