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War Against Oil Theft In Niger Delta: Police, Tompolo’s Tantita Security Firm Record Success As Court Orders Forfeiture Of An Illegal Crude Oil Vessel, MT Kali And Its Content To FG

Federal High Court, Abuja orders forfeiture of an illegal crude oil vessel, MT Kali and its content to the Federal Government courtesy of Nigeria Police, Tompolo’s Tantita Security Firm’s joint Efforts

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and management of a private security outfit, Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited (TSSNL) on Monday, recorded a major stride in the war against crude oil theft in the Niger Delta region.

A Federal High Court, Abuja, in a landmark judgement,ordered the forfeiture of an illegal crude oil vessel, MT Kali and its content to the Federal Government.

The police in the Charge NO. FHC/ABJ/CR/18/2024 B/W: INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE V. MT KALI & 22 ORS, had arraigned the vessel and its 22 crew members before the Federal High Court, presided over by Justice J.O. Abdulmalik.

Justice Abdulmalik granted the motion for the interim forfeiture of MT Kali & her content to the Federal Government.

However, the arraignment of the suspects was stalled as they were not produced in the court by the office of the Chief of Defence Staff.

All efforts by the prosecuting counsel to convince the court to issue a production warrant to be served on the military authorities for the production of the defendants on 18th March, 2024 being the next adjournment date or at least the issue of defendants’ summons to be served on the defendants through the military authorities proved abortive.

The court, however, sternly warned that the charge may not survive beyond the next adjournment date should the prosecution not secure the attendance of the defendants for their arraignment and plea.

The illegal oil bunkering ship was arrested by the operatives of Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited in conjuction with the special security task force set up by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, on January 11th, 2024.

The ship was arrested while siphoning crude oil from Pennington Oil field of the Anglo-Dutch energy giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Bayelsa State.

Twenty crew members, including community boys’ accomplices, were arrested in the operation.

This is the first time in recent time when oil thieves and their barons are being prosecuted and brought to book.

The case is being prosecuted to logical conclusion in the act of dexterity and patriotic zeal by the operatives of Tantita led by its Executive Director, Operations and Technical Services, Captain Warriedi Enisuoh and a team raised by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Kayode Egbetokun.

Egbetokun had directed the Police Special Task Force on Petroleum and Illegal Bunkering (IGP-STFPIB) under the command of Mr. Lot Lantoh Garba, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, to launch a discreet investigation into the arrest of the bunkering ship.

Investigations into the arrest of MT Kali, were being intensified as operatives of Tantita arrested another illegal bunkering ship MT HARBOR SPIRIT, weeks after, on February 4th.

The Moldovian vessel was caught while stealing crude oil from Sengana oilfields in the coastal axis of Bayelsa State.

The investigation and prosection of the two bunkering ships and their crew members were being diligently coordinated by Enisuoh and Head, Investigation, IGP-STPIB, Mr. Omar John Sini, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP).

It was gathered that MT Harbor Spirit and members of her crew are to be arraigned in court on Friday, March 1st, 2024.

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