The Nigerian Navy has reacted to allegations by Asari Dokubo, ex-Niger Delta militant leader, that some cabals in the military are involved in oil theft in the region.

Speaking with reporters after meeting with President Bola Tinubu on Friday, Dokubo had said the army and navy top brass know those behind the widespread oil theft in the delta.

Dokubo also alleged that military personnel often intimidate officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) who are supposed to protect the oil pipelines.

Reacting in an interview with NAN, Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, director of naval information, said the Nigerian military, and the navy in particular, had been at the forefront of the battle against crude oil theft at all levels in the country.

“You remember the case of MT HEROIC IDUN that was made to pay fines to the Nigerian government after they were arrested and brought back from Guinea Bissau, Malabo Island and made to face court orders,” he said.


“It demonstrated the will of the navy to go as far as even beyond our waters to arrest a ship that attempted to load without license, without due approval in April last year.

“I was there physically on board one of our ships at FOT in Onne when the navy launched Operation Dakatarda Barawo, which means stop the thief in Hausa language.

“Nigerian Navy has been fighting crude oil theft, taking the fight to the creeks and as I speak to you, our men are battling in the creeks.”

Ayo-Vaughan said Dokubo is simply seeking some form of relevance and favour from the new government, adding that the chief of naval staff will not condone such allegations.

“He alleges that there is a cabal of military people that are involved in crude oil theft, let him bring the names,” he said.

“Nobody is afraid of getting the names of those involved in crude oil theft.

“You cannot make such spurious allegations and think that we will just sweep it down the carpet.

“So for anybody to say that there is a cabal of military officers, the only simple thing to do is bring the evidence, bring the names.”

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