The Federal Government has been urged to launch investigation into crude oil theft across the country.
This is contained in a statement signed by the former Presidential Candidate of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, Dumebi Kachikwu, in Abuja.
The statement calls for external investigators stressing that the Nigerian Navy cannot be a judge over an issue involving it.
“The trend trailing the MT Praisel vessel, which was alleged to have been carrying stolen crude should be investigated, I urge the Federal Government to engage external investigation, adding that Nigerians won’t accept any report emanating from the Navy” Kachikwu emphasizes.
“The story of MT PRAISEL is getting more bizarre by the day, the Nigerian Navy has just released a statement saying tests have confirmed that the product on board the vessel intercepted by Tantita Security Services operatives is indeed HPFO as logged in the permit issued by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency (NMDPRA), he adds.
According to the statement the response of the Navy to the issue was unacceptable.
The statement notes that these allegations warrants the National Security Adviser or President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to set up an investigative panel immediately.
“What the Nigerian Navy fails to understand is that Nigerians won’t accept any report emanating from the Navy”.
“Too many red flags have been raised by Tantita Security Services that warrant the National Security Adviser or the President to set up an investigation panel on this matter” Kachikwu states.
“The permit issued by NMDPRA showed that the voyage of the vessel was from Lagos to Koko in Delta State while the Navy permit said the vessel was going in the opposite direction. The Master of the vessel upon interrogation said the vessel was headed to Bonny. Two permits with conflicting information and the Master with another information, so which are we to believe? He adds.
The MT Praisel was arrested in the Koko area of Delta State by a private security outfit, Tantita Security Service Limited (TSSL) on August 2 over suspicion of the vessel’s product being stolen crude oil, reportedly flying a Togolese flag and was being escorted by a navy boat led by a senior naval commander.
Georgina Humphrey, Edited By Grace Namiji
Written by: Elizabeth David