Oil Theft: FG Defends Destruction Of Vessel

The Federal Government of Nigeria on Friday defended the swift destruction of an oil bunkering vessel by security operatives, saying it was in line with the rules of engagement.

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, stated this on Friday after a National Security Council meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at Aso Villa in Abuja.

According to him, the vessel was caught in the act and security agents subsequently set the “instrument of operation” ablaze, claiming that no investigation is needed to carry out the action.

Irabor said, “There are various approaches, various solutions to a problem and at any time based on certain factors, certain considerations, available to those that are at the frontline, actions are taken based on the directive which are contained in the rules of engagement.

“So, the burning of the vessel, it is because the thief was caught in the act and the procedure, if you are caught in the act, is that everything you are using to undertake that criminal activity should be destroyed and that was done.

“What investigation do you need that you find somebody who decided to deplore several pumping machines and has several hoses that are deployed to a dug out pit where crude oil is stored over a period?

“It was caught in the act. So, the instrument of operation was what was destroyed. I think it is straightforward. Whether that is the best is a different matter entirely but did they act in line with the rules of engagement? Yes, they did.”

Nigerians, who allege that security agents are complicit in oil theft, had raised eyebrows over the destruction of the vessel, instead of keeping it as as exhibit to prosecute the owners of the vessel.

The House of Representatives had said it will investigate the circumstances surrounding the destruction of the oil bunkering vessel by security agents.

Recall that Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party had recently said that oil can only be stolen by those in government.

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