The Defence Headquarters has dismissed allegations that some military personnel and security agencies are involved in oil theft and illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta region.
Fielding questions from journalists on the operations of the military, Jimmy Akpor, director of defence information, said the allegations were unfounded.
According to NAN, Akpor said the major stakeholders in the oil and gas industry have an understanding of the workings of the industry, adding that it is unfair to drag the military into the activities of the criminals.
He said the armed forces and other security agencies have continued to do their best to safeguard the nation’s economic assets in the region.
In August, Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, alleged that churches, mosques, and security agencies as well as host communities were involved in crude oil theft.
‘OIL THIEVES DENIED N1.2BN’
Providing updates at the briefing on Thursday, Musa Danmadami, director of defence media operations, said oil thieves have been denied N1.2 billion by the military within two weeks of its clearance operations.
He said the navy seized N664.8 million worth of crude oil, N546.7 million worth of diesel; N12.2 million worth of Kerosene; and N11.8 million worth of petroleum products.
He said troops of Operation Delta Safe in collaboration with the Department of State Service (DSS) have continued to deny criminal elements freedom of action.
“Also, troops of Operation Delta Safe discovered and destroyed 67 illegal refining sites, 11 wooden boats, 218 storage tanks, 168 cooking ovens, and 61 dugout pits within the period under review,” he said.
“Troops also recovered 2.07 million litres of crude oil, 706,000 litres of automotive gas oil, 15,500 litres of dual purpose kerosene and 67,000 litres of premium motor spirit.
“Eight trucks, three pumping machines, three outboard engines and three generators were also recovered, while five pipeline vandals were also arrested.
“All recovered items were handed over to the relevant authority for further action.”
He said in the south-west, troops of 81 division, on August 26, foiled an attempt to smuggle 792 parcels of illicit drugs suspected to be cannabis sativa into the country.
He said the consignment, worth about N10 million, was intercepted by the troops at a checkpoint along the Ilaro-Benin Republic border.
“Similarly, the joint border patrol troops conducted anti-smuggling operations at Sawa Sawa village along Owode-Apa bush path in Badagry LGA of Lagos state,” he said.
“Similar operation was carried out at Oke-Agbede Waterside in Imeko Afon LGA, Oyan waterside, Yewa south, Yewa north and Ado-Odo/Ota LGA of Ogun state.
“Consequently, a total of 449 Jerri cans of PMS (30 litres), 529 (50kg) bags of foreign rice and one vehicle were recovered.
“All recovered items were handed over to the Nigerian Customs Service in Abeokuta, Ogun state.”