Home Nigeria News Now Navy Arrests Four of Tompolo’s Men for Crude Oil Theft; Firm Protests

Navy Arrests Four of Tompolo’s Men for Crude Oil Theft; Firm Protests

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Nigerian Navy , TANTITA Security Service, Tompolo
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Nigerian Navy Foils Oil Theft Attempt in Lekki Waters, Arrests Four Suspects

 

The Nigerian Navy has reportedly thwarted an attempted oil theft operation in Lekki Waters and apprehended four individuals connected to TANTITA Security Service, a company owned by former Niger Delta militant leader Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo.

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The operation was disrupted following a distress call from residents in the Itolu community, Lekki, who reported gunshots from the waterside.

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Commodore Kolawole Oguntuga, the Commander of NNS Beecroft, disclosed during a press conference that the suspects were arrested while attempting to steal a boat engine from a local resident. He further explained the sequence of events:

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On August 29, 2023, the Nigerian Navy received a distress call regarding gunshots near the Itolu community in Lagos State.

Naval patrol teams swiftly responded to the distress call and encountered four individuals dressed in black polo shirts with “TANTITA” inscribed on the back.

The suspects were trying to retrieve a dismantled outboard engine from a local resident.

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After arresting the individuals, the naval patrol team discovered that they were part of a larger operation involving a wooden boat and two fiber boats.

The larger wooden boat was found to be carrying 11 x 1000L Geepee tanks suspected to contain stolen crude oil.

The arrested individuals are identified as Asonja Goddey (28), Obajimi Oluwaseyifunmi (38), Awoowo Aribo (35), and Oluwadaisi Balogun (40), all from Igbokoda in Ondo State. The owner of the boat they attempted to use, Ishola Ojubuyi (42), was also taken into custody.

The Nigerian Navy has initiated an investigation into the incident to determine various aspects, including the source of firearms used in the community, potential economic sabotage, the origin of the product (suspected stolen crude oil), and the attempted theft of the boat engine from locals.

Additionally, Oguntuga mentioned that a TANTITA staff member, Mr. Owoyele Omotuyi, arrived to secure the release of the four apprehended individuals, claiming they were TANTITA employees. All suspects and confiscated exhibits will be handed over to appropriate agencies for further necessary action and prosecution.

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In response, the Ondo State Coordinator of TANTITA Security Service, Idowu Asonja, issued a press statement alleging that the Navy officers had initially released a wooden vessel loaded with crude oil. The statement claimed that TANTITA security guards had successfully apprehended the vessel. According to Asonja, the Navy officers were paid to guide the vessel.

Asonja’s statement also described a conflict that arose when the owners of the wooden vessel returned to the scene with Navy officers working at the Dangote Refinery. The Navy officers reportedly attacked and arrested four TANTITA security guards from the Ondo zone.

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The contract awarded to TANTITA Security Service by the Federal Government for the protection of oil pipelines has been a subject of controversy in Nigeria, with differing opinions on whether it should be revoked or upheld. This incident adds a new layer of complexity to the ongoing debate surrounding the contract and security arrangements in the region.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Ejes Gist Media Limited. For any rights infringements or takedown requests, please contact us at [email protected].
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