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Niger Delta

Police, Civil Defence Clash Over ‘Illegal Oil Bunkering Site’ In Rivers

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The police in Rivers State, have narrated how their operatives clashed with the personnel of a sister security agency – the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) over an alleged illegal oil bunkering site in the state.
The police spokesperson in the state, Grace Iringe-Koko, in a statement in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, said police operatives who visited the illegal refining site at Ogbogoro Community for an operation, were resisted by armed officials of the NSCDC.
Iringe-Koko, a deputy superintendent of police, said the Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council, George Ariolu, visited the site with a detachment of police operatives led by Akika Solomon, an assistant commissioner of police.
She said armed civil defence officials, about 20 of them, prevented the chairman’s team from having access to the site.
“They were eventually disarmed and arrested by the police before Ariolu had access into the depot,” she said.
“We are fully committed to fighting the war against illegal oil bunkering to a logical conclusion,” she said.
In his reaction, Bature Aliyu, the NSCDC Commandant in Rivers State, dismissed claims that the site was used for illegal oil activities.
“The marine exhibit yard in Ogbogoro jetty is not an illegal bunkering site.
“It is a holding bay used by NSCDC to detain boats, vessels, barges and drums used for illegal oil bunkering,” he said.
Mr Aliyu, who spoke through an Assistant Commandant of Corps, Michael Oguntuase, said that NSCDC’s Commandant-General, Ahmed Audi, visited and endorsed the site in 2021.
“So, the yard is NSCDC’s marine exhibits yard and not an illegal dump.
“Most of the exhibits there were arrested by the Nigerian Navy and handed over to us, while some of the arrests were made by us.
“The Ogbogoro jetty is a no-go area for anybody because destroying the yard means destroying the exhibits,” he said.
Mr Aliyu urged members of the public to report any NSCDC personnel found culpable of oil theft, illegal bunkering and vandalism in the state.
The Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike has declared war on operators of illegal refineries in the state.
The governor recently accused the police and the civil defence of aiding and abetting the operation of illegal refineries in the state.

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Niger Delta

Eno Sacks Commissioner For Special Duties

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Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno has relieved the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr Bassey Okon, of his appointment with immediate effect.
Secretary to the State Government, Mr Enobong Uwah, disclosed this in a statement in Uyo on Monday.
Uwah, who did not give reasons for the commissioner’s sack, directed him to hand over all state government properties in his possession to the Permanent Secretary.
He thanked the former commissioner for the period he served the state, and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Niger Delta

Check Oil Pollution In N’Delta, Stakeholders Urge Oil Firms

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Stakeholders in host communities have demanded that oil companies be compelled to address adverse health impact of oil exploration in the Niger-Delta.
They made their position known on Monday during a public presentation of the research report on the impact of oil extraction on women’s health in Otuabagi community in Bayelsa.
The Tide’s source reports that Dr Emem Okon, Director, Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, an NGO, championed the event.
The source also reports that Otuabagi Community within the Oloibiri District in present Ogbia Local Government Area is where crude oil was discovered in commercial quantity in Nigeria in 1956.
Okon said the report highlighted the adverse consequences of oil extraction which had profound negative impact on health and livelihood of women in Otuabagi community.
She said research revealed that several of the participants had hydrocarbons in their blood sample more than World Health Organisation (WHO) threshold and therefore demanded for compensation from oil companies and government.
“There is, therefore, a need to demand for compensation and restoration of polluted sites as well as health actions to keep us alive and to resist death, poverty and injustice”, she said.
She stated that the findings and data would serve as a tool for policy makers, community leaders and all those who strove for a more equitable and sustainable future.
Meanwhile, Dr Bieye Briggs, a public health physician and head of the research team, said from the findings of the report, it was revealed that there was very high and unacceptable level of exposure of the people to hydrocarbons.
Briggs advocated for the Federal Government to carry out health audit in Otuabagi community and other oil producing areas in the Niger-Delta region.
He explained that such audit was with a view to instituting intervention program to halt and reverse the impact of oil exploration.
Similarly, Chief Daniel Amangi, the traditional ruler of Otuabagi community, commended Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre for undertaking the project and urged the Federal Government to focus on developing the community.
Amangi also called for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the research findings for the overall benefit of the people.
In the same vein, Alagoa Morris, a stakeholder, lamented that life expectancy was lower in the Niger-Delta region than in other parts of the country due to the hazards caused by oil exploration.
He called for compensation to be paid to host communities to ameliorate the health impact of oil extraction in the region.
The ceremony also featured a drama presentation by Otuabagi women and panel discussion on the findings of the report.

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Niger Delta

Court Orders AAU Graduate’s Car, iPhone’s Forfeiture To FG

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A Benin High Court on Monday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to sell a Toyota Venza 2012 model, recovered from a graduate of Biochemistry from Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Osadolor Edomwonyi.
The EFCC charged Edomwonyi with internet fraud.
Delivering judgment, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba, sentenced Edomwonyi to three years imprisonment.
The judge also ordered the forfeiture of an iPhone 13 Promax, recovered from the convict .
He also ordered that balances in his Opay account, Kids Bank account and Access Bank with which he was charged and convicted to the Federal Government through EFCC and the accounts be parmanently closed.
The convict prayed the court for a plea bargain agreement.
Ikponmwonba, however, gave him an option of fine in the sum of N100,000.
Earlier, the EFCC counsel, Mr I K Agwaisaid, said the convict committed an offence contrary to the provisions of Sections 6 and 8 (b) of the advance free fraud and other fraud-related offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The prosecutor said in a plea bargain agreement, Edomwonyi pleaded guilty to the one-count charge of possession of fraudulent documents.

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