Firm Sues Police Over Woji Jetty Fire


The Managing Director of Swatlents Limited Chief Felix Idiga has insisted that she would take the Nigeria Police force and companies within the Woji Jetty to Court for damages over her burnt vessel.
Idiga, who spoke through his counsel, Mr. Ignatius Onyekachi said that the intention to drag the Police and other firms around the jetty to Court became necessary due to the fact that the Police at Woji divisional headquarters refused to act and arrest the situation when complaints were made to the station last year.
Last Thursday, vessel belonging to Swatlents Limited was burnt completely due to fire out break which sources said was caused by the activities of illegal refineries at the Jetty.
The Tide gathered that property worth billions of naira were burnt including the vessels belonging to Swatlents Limited and other company vessels which were anchors at the jetty.
The privately owned jetty anchor boats and other vessels but sources alleged that activities of illegal refineries go on there.
Idiga said he had made verbal complaints and taken some police officers to the jetty to arrest those involved in the illegal business but they could not arrest anybody as the hoodlums had fled.
He said that the police assured him that they would regularly check the area frequently due to the sign of spill of oil round the river which had destroyed the aquatic lives, but expressed regret that nothing was done till the fire outbreak.
The Managing Director alleged that his client had lost well over N3 billion worth of the vessel while the vessel was on contract with the Nigeria Agip Oil Company.
Although, the Rivers State Government has commenced investigation to determine the cause of the fire incident, it is unclear what may have caused the fire which sources said about 12 vessels were affected by the incident.
Our correspondent who was at the scene reports that thick smoke was seen around Woji area in Port Harcourt due to the burning vessels.
A business operator in the area, Mr Tommy Jacob, said that the smoke started gradually which drew the attention of people around, but the vessels could not sail because tide was low.
Last week, Port Harcourt residents in their thousands marched out to protest the rising cases of soot in Port Harcourt.
The Nigeria military (Joint Task Force) has been destroying illegal refineries in the Niger Delta without any safety measures.
Experts say, burning the illegal refineries in the open without any safety measure is more dangerous than the illegal refining.
The Nigerian government has given license for the operation of modular refineries to help checkmate oil theft and illegal oil bunkering.