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Police Bust Oil Theft Syndicate, Nab One In Rivers

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Operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Task Force on Petroleum and Illegal Bunkering (STFPIB) have arrested 54-year-old man, Chukwudi Okafor who is believed to be a member of a syndicate responsible for illegal oil bunkering in Rivers State.
He was nabbed with a 40-feet container truck while conveying a large quantity of crude oil products suspected to be illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) stuffed in sacks.
According to the police, the syndicate with a long chain of drivers and workers move these products from the bushes from one location to another till they get to the final buyer.
Most of the drivers might not be aware of the real source of the products they are carrying or the location where they were picked.
“They are getting smarter and inventing ways of evading arrest. It’s a long chain and operatives are on their trail and a major breakthrough will be announced very soon”, the police sources explained.
During interrogation, Chukwudi, who was driving the truck with Registration Number JRV 322 XV claimed to have lost count of the number of trucks that he was paid to deliver to several buyers within Rivers and neighbouring states.
A native of Imo, Chukwudi, who promised to help the operatives nab his employers, lamented that his greatest mistake was not querying the source of the stolen product.
He said: “I am a professional truck driver and I am based in Rivers State. I was employed as a driver years ago and my job is just to drive for the haulage company that contracted me.
“Normally, I do not have issues with the way when I present the covering documents they gave me for each trip. It was when the police arrested me that I realised that all the documents were fake.
“I have lost count of the number of tankers that I delivered to our customers who are mostly owners of petrol stations in Rivers, Abia, Imo, Edo and sometimes, Abuja. My job is to drive to any location and get paid.”
On where exactly the products were sourced from, he said: “We have many drivers and I am one of them. I have never entered the place where they fill the tanks or bags. One of our company drivers will drive it to our pick-up point and I will deliver it to the owners. I am sorry that I did not query to know if it was stolen or not. I assumed that it was scarcity of drums that made them to pack it in sacks.
“I was told that there are so many stolen products and I am not in doubt because some of our fellow drivers have confirmed it to me. They said that they are cautious of the time they move to avoid being arrested by security men on patrol. My only mistake is that I did not query why they packed the oil inside sacks. I am ready to assist the police to catch my employers.”
On the breakthrough, the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi, stated that the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, had earlier ordered tactical and intelligence commanders of the Force to re-strategise methods used in tackling perpetrators of economic crimes.
“The IGP stressed that the actions of these economic saboteurs have become worrisome due to the huge losses being recorded as a result of their criminal activities. He issued the directives while charging the newly appointed Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the IGP Special Task Force on Petroleum and Illegal Bunkering (IGP-STFPIB), Lot Lantoh Garba, to improve on the fight against economic crimes. ACP Lot, a gallant and courageous officer, has served in various operational command positions including as Commanding Officer, Special Protection Unit (SPU) and a one-time Commander, Police Mobile Force (PMF) 23 Obalende, Lagos.
“Upon assumption of office, ACP Lot set the ball rolling which has led to immediate restructuring of the task force, and continuous decimation of the operations of criminal elements responsible for the theft of crude oil and other petroleum products, as well as illegal bunkering in the country.
“The current breakthrough in PortHarcourt, Rivers State was achieved while operatives were on surveillance patrol.
“Preliminary investigations have shown that the driver is a member of a high-powered syndicate responsible for illegal bunkering in the area and beyond, and the arrest of the driver has definitely provided a lead to the arrest of other members of the syndicate. The recovered truck with the accompanying product is currently in police custody at the Refinery Life Camp Division, Eleme, pending the conclusion of investigations.
“The Inspector-General of Police, therefore, warns police operatives attached to the Task Force to be focused, committed, and patriotic. He charged them to discharge their duties devoid of corruption, favouritism, and compromise. The IGP further warns all economic saboteurs to cease their unwholesome activities henceforth else they would be made to face the full wrath of the law. The Force is deepening synergy with other agencies in internal security to curtail the trend of these crimes and other forms of crimes and social vices in the country,” he stated.Operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Task Force on Petroleum and Illegal Bunkering (STFPIB) have arrested 54-year-old man, Chukwudi Okafor who is believed to be a member of a syndicate responsible for illegal oil bunkering in Rivers State.
He was nabbed with a 40-feet container truck while conveying a large quantity of crude oil products suspected to be illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) stuffed in sacks.
According to the police, the syndicate with a long chain of drivers and workers move these products from the bushes from one location to another till they get to the final buyer.
Most of the drivers might not be aware of the real source of the products they are carrying or the location where they were picked.
“They are getting smarter and inventing ways of evading arrest. It’s a long chain and operatives are on their trail and a major breakthrough will be announced very soon”, the police sources explained.
During interrogation, Chukwudi, who was driving the truck with Registration Number JRV 322 XV claimed to have lost count of the number of trucks that he was paid to deliver to several buyers within Rivers and neighbouring states.
A native of Imo, Chukwudi, who promised to help the operatives nab his employers, lamented that his greatest mistake was not querying the source of the stolen product.
He said: “I am a professional truck driver and I am based in Rivers State. I was employed as a driver years ago and my job is just to drive for the haulage company that contracted me.
“Normally, I do not have issues with the way when I present the covering documents they gave me for each trip. It was when the police arrested me that I realised that all the documents were fake.
“I have lost count of the number of tankers that I delivered to our customers who are mostly owners of petrol stations in Rivers, Abia, Imo, Edo and sometimes, Abuja. My job is to drive to any location and get paid.”
On where exactly the products were sourced from, he said: “We have many drivers and I am one of them. I have never entered the place where they fill the tanks or bags. One of our company drivers will drive it to our pick-up point and I will deliver it to the owners. I am sorry that I did not query to know if it was stolen or not. I assumed that it was scarcity of drums that made them to pack it in sacks.
“I was told that there are so many stolen products and I am not in doubt because some of our fellow drivers have confirmed it to me. They said that they are cautious of the time they move to avoid being arrested by security men on patrol. My only mistake is that I did not query why they packed the oil inside sacks. I am ready to assist the police to catch my employers.”
On the breakthrough, the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi, stated that the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, had earlier ordered tactical and intelligence commanders of the Force to re-strategise methods used in tackling perpetrators of economic crimes.
“The IGP stressed that the actions of these economic saboteurs have become worrisome due to the huge losses being recorded as a result of their criminal activities. He issued the directives while charging the newly appointed Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the IGP Special Task Force on Petroleum and Illegal Bunkering (IGP-STFPIB), Lot Lantoh Garba, to improve on the fight against economic crimes. ACP Lot, a gallant and courageous officer, has served in various operational command positions including as Commanding Officer, Special Protection Unit (SPU) and a one-time Commander, Police Mobile Force (PMF) 23 Obalende, Lagos.
“Upon assumption of office, ACP Lot set the ball rolling which has led to immediate restructuring of the task force, and continuous decimation of the operations of criminal elements responsible for the theft of crude oil and other petroleum products, as well as illegal bunkering in the country.
“The current breakthrough in PortHarcourt, Rivers State was achieved while operatives were on surveillance patrol.
“Preliminary investigations have shown that the driver is a member of a high-powered syndicate responsible for illegal bunkering in the area and beyond, and the arrest of the driver has definitely provided a lead to the arrest of other members of the syndicate. The recovered truck with the accompanying product is currently in police custody at the Refinery Life Camp Division, Eleme, pending the conclusion of investigations.
“The Inspector-General of Police, therefore, warns police operatives attached to the Task Force to be focused, committed, and patriotic. He charged them to discharge their duties devoid of corruption, favouritism, and compromise. The IGP further warns all economic saboteurs to cease their unwholesome activities henceforth else they would be made to face the full wrath of the law. The Force is deepening synergy with other agencies in internal security to curtail the trend of these crimes and other forms of crimes and social vices in the country,” he stated.

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Stakeholders Harp On Collection Of PVCs …As Okrika Hosts GDI Sensitisation Rally

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The Grassroot Development Initiative (GDI), has tasked eligible voters in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State to focus efforts at the collection of their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) to enable them actively participate in the 2023 elections.
The stakeholders gave the charge, last Wednesday, during a PVC sensitisation rally at Okochiri.
Thousands of dignitaries from far and near Okrika Kingdom stormed the ancient town for the sensitisation programme.
In a brief speech, the state Chairman of PDP, Amb Desmond Akawor, reminded GDI and PDP members and supporters to intensify mobilisation and enlightenment of the electorate on the need to arm themselves with their PVCs to enable them exercise their franchise during the forthcoming elections.
Also speaking, two chieftains of the PDP, Dr Sampson Parker, and Hon Ibibia Walter, assured that Okrikans were already energised to ensure that their votes count during the 2023 elections by registering and collecting their PVCs.
They urged those who were yet to collect their PVCCs to do so without further delay.
In his remarks, President-General of GDI, Hon. Bright Amaewhule, said the political pressure group embarked on the sensitisation programme with the aim of ensuring that no eligible voter in the state was left behind in efforts to elect acceptable leaders into the Executive and all Legislative offices in 2023.
Amaewhule challenged all those who were yet to collect their PVCs to rush to the nearby Independent National Electoral Commission office or PVC Collection Centre to pick up their PVCs, and get ready to do themselves proud by exercising their franchise come 2023 elections.
Among the dignitaries were the Rivers State Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Amb Desmond Akawor; some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), including the Deputy Chairman, Chukwuemeka Aaron; and the state Secretary, Dr Benibo George; who were there on solidarity.
There were also past and present LGA chairmen, serving and former lawmakers and commissioners in the state, party stalwarts and leaders, including Dr Sampson Parker, Hon. Ibibia Walter, and former NUPENG National Chairman, Comrade Igwe Achese, among others.
The event featured ward-by-ward gyration by GDI members in Okrika and solidarity speeches from GDI stakeholders in the area.
They all advised those who have already registered during the just concluded continuous voter registration exercise to ensure collection of their PVCs.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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Nwanosike Reprimands Abati Over Diatribe On Wike

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The Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, Engr. Samuel Nwanosike, has reprimanded Dr. Reuben Abati over his diatribe on the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike.
Recall that Abati, an ace journalist and public affairs commentator, had in one of his programmes on Arise TV, took a swipe at the Rivers State governor over his perceived misunderstanding with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on the choice of his running mate.
Nwanosike, while speaking with newsmen at his office in Isiokpo, last Tuesday, urged Nigerians to disregard the outburst of Dr. Reuben Abati, because, according to him, Abati does not understand the discussion that took place between Governor Nyesom Wike and his team, while advising Abati to properly advice his boss.
According to Nwanosike, “I will advise him to advise his principal properly. A man that won a presidential ticket, and wants to win an election should not send attack dogs to attack those who will gather votes for him.
“In Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike is in charge. In South-South, Chief Nyesom Wike is in charge. Chief Nyesom Wike remains the star-man of South-South politics, and we will continue to follow his directions. His leadership quality is okay for us”.
He decried the rate at which men who were meant to be upright and truthful, were attacking and bullying some others because they have easy platforms.
Nwanosike said, “It’s a shame that we have gotten to a level in this country where men who are supposed to say the truth will wake up in the midnight because they have a platform, they have the opportunity, and then, want to bully other Nigerians who are eminently qualified, even more qualified than them, into a position that will suit them”.
He acknowledged that Abati raised some critical issues, but wondered why a first-class material like him has failed to proffer any solution to the issues bedevilling Nigeria.
“Dr. Reuben Abati is or has raised some critical issues. Issue number one is that he started writing and practicing journalism since 1985, and he made a first class in the University of Calabar. It’s a great achievement. But the only problem we have as Nigerians is that all issues, being a first class graduate and writing since 1985, has he produced any result in the Nigerian issues?
“As a first class graduate, he is supposed to be one of Nigeria’s best”, Nwanosike said.
He regretted that Abati bullied former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to appoint him as presidential spokesman, but rather worked in connivance with the opposition party to ensure Jonathan’s failure.
“He bullied President Goodluck Jonathan into giving him an appointment as press secretary. Between 2012 and 2013, President Jonathan was considered the best and Nigeria was adjudged one of the fastest growing economies in the world, yet Lai Mohammed came and sold lies to Nigerians not to appreciate the good works of Jonathan, and this Reuben Abati couldn’t do anything to sell the good works of President Goodluck Jonathan because he doesn’t have the capacity.
“In fact, we can accuse Reuben Abati of sabotaging or as one of those who sabotaged the victory of President Goodluck Jonathan. That’s why Jonathan lost that election.
“And today, Reuben Abati’s failure has brought us the destruction of lives and property we have in Nigeria today”, Nwanosike stated.
The Ikwerre Council boss lashed out at Abati for being Atiku Abubakar’s political puppet, and his inability to establish any media outfit, despite his claim of being a media practitioner for over 37 years.
He said, “A man who claims that he has been at the third tier for over 22 years, yet, he cannot tell us of a media investment that he has developed whether it’s a television station of his own or a print media of his own. Rather, what he is doing is to wake up in the morning, wear a suit and tie of his age, seems he is over 60, and come and sit down and churn out lies to Nigerians because his paymaster, Atiku Abubakar, wants to press Nigerians into giving him an opportunity to manage the Nigerian economy because he believes, Atiku Abubakar believes, that being the President of Nigeria is his life ambition”.
Nwanosike noted that what the Rivers State governor said that a leader like Atiku Abubakar, the former Vice President of Nigeria, lied to the Nigerian public about him is factual, saying that one Dr Osina justified Wike’s assertion when he called Alhaji Atiku Abubakar a liar during Dr. Reuben Abati’s Morning Show.
“Governor Nyesom Wike has done well as an Ikwerre man; has done well as a Rivers man; has done well as a South-South man; and represents the image of the South-South people. We are not to talk about age, age is just a number. He has the capacity and competence.
“Chief Nyesom Wike has done well as a chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government, two-time chairman, built wonderful infrastructures for Obio/Akpor people, and made Obio/Akpor people to understand what dividends of democracy mean, and touched all their wards as a sitting local government chairman.
“He grew to the level of becoming President of Commonwealth Association of Local Government Chairmen. Outside that, Chief Nyesom Wike served in the same administration with Reuben Abati as a minister. He didn’t shop for it”, Nwanosike noted.
He stressed that the legacies of Chief Nyesom Wike as Nigeria’s Junior Minister of Education and even Senior Minister of Education still speak volumes, and remain evergreen, adding that Chief Nyesom Wike has replicated his tremendous achievements in Rivers State.
He urged Nigerians to disregard the outburst of Dr. Reuben Abati because, according to him, he does not understand the discussion that happened between Chief Nyesom Wike and his team, while advising Abati to properly advise his boss.
While digressing, Nwanosike advised the National Chairman of PDP, Senator Iyorcha Ayu, to abide by the party’s Constitution and honourably resign since the presidential candidate of the party is from the same North with him.

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Embrace Exclusive Breastfeeding, Banigo Tasks Nursing Mothers

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Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, has reiterated the need for nursing mothers to embrace exclusive breastfeeding to facilitate the healthy growth of their babies.
Banigo stated this in her goodwill message in Government House, Port Harcourt, last Wednesday, to commemorate the 2022 World Breast Feeding Week.
According to the public health physician, breast milk remains nature’s food for ensuring the health and quality of life for infants through childhood to adult life.
She said expectant mothers should register at the government health facilities spread across the state for their antenatal visits, delivery, and post-natal services, adding that the Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike-led administration cares about the health of nursing mothers and their babies.
The first week of August each year has been set aside as World Breastfeeding Week, which is an initiative to raise awareness on the benefits of exclusive breast-feeding.
The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Step Up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support”.

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