…Accuses cartels of complicity
Leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Chief Edwin Clark, has called for the setting up of a judicial inquiry into the crude oil theft that has led to dwindling revenue for the nation and sabotaging its economy.
He made the call at a press conference in Abuja yesterday, against the background of the recent discovery of kilometres-long illegal oil pipeline delivering crude to rouge vessels in a platform on the high seas. The elder statesman was reacting to the recent discovery of a large scale and sophisticated oil theft machinery going on at the deep swamps at Yokri, close to the Forcados terminal.
According to him, the discovery was a confirmation of what the Niger-Deltans have been saying about high-level complicity in crude oil theft in the region. The foremost Ijaw leader maintained that the quantum of crude oil theft by artisanal Niger-Deltans is not comparable to what the vessels illegally ship out of Nigerian waters.
While noting that the heist was discovered by the private security company, Tantita Security Services Limited, operated by Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, and the community youths he recruited, he said the probe must uncover those behind it, especially the military personnel.
The former federal Commissioner affirmed that the recent conviction by a court martial of two naval officers over bunkering vessel, MT African Pride, confirmed the involvement of the military.