The Nigerian Navy has announced the arrest of a suspected coordinator of the multiple attacks on oil and gas facilities in the creeks of Delta state.
The suspect was paraded yesterday alongside some other suspects by the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta in Warri.
Also paraded by the navy command were six other suspects arrested for other crimes, including one of the alleged killers of some security personnel and civilians at Batan community, Warri South-West council area of Delta state, on April 30.
Addressing a press conference at the base of the command in Warri, the Commander, NNS Delta, Commodore Raimi Mohammed, described the arrest of the suspected coordinator of the attacks on all the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) facilities in the state as a major success, expressing optimism that the development would curtail further attacks on facilities in the area.
Mohammed, who declined mentioning the name of the arrested suspects, particularly the three major ones, said the feat was made possible by the collaborative efforts of other law enforcement agencies.
He said: “Today (Monday), I am pleased to announce that after several weeks of persistent efforts, the Nigerian Navy, in collaboration with other security agencies, has arrested the main coordinator of attacks on NNPC and Chevron oil and gas facilities that we have witnessed since May 4, 2016, with the attack on Chevron’s Okan valve platform, offshore Escravos.
“This arrest came after weeks of trailing and arrest of his foot-soldiers. It is important to mention that the suspect is also deeply involved in pipeline vandalism for stealing crude oil. He steals crude oil from about 35 abandoned oil well-heads and crude oil pipelines in Okpoko and Obodo in Warri South-West council area of Delta state. The Nigerian Navy believes with the arrest of this suspect, the attacks on Chevron/NNPC oil and gas facilities will abate”.
The Navy commander further said the command was still on the trail of the suspect’s collaborators and foot-soldiers, who are now at large, adding that material used in blowing up and oil and gas installations in the region, had been recovered.
Commodore Mohammed further revealed that a key arrest had also been made in the attack on the Shell Petroleum Development Company’s (SPDC) crude export pipeline in Forcados last week.
In response to the question if the key arrests had led to breakthroughs in identifying those behind the Niger Delta Avengers, the Navy chief said his concern was not about names of persons or groups, but about the actual persons involved in the attack on the nation’s economy, which he said had been deduced through painstaking investigations.