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Crude Theft: Court Orders Forfeiture of MT Kali


CNS Ogalla

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL), the Nigerian Navy (NN), Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited (TSSNL) and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) recorded a major achievement in their collective fight against crude oil smuggling as a Federal High Court, Abuja Division, ordered the forfeiture of an illegal crude oil vessel, MT Kali and its content to the Federal Government.

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Justice J.O. Abdulmalik who ordered the interim forfeiture of the rogue vessel and its content is coming on the heel of a formal charge by the Nigerian Police in the Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CR/18/2024 B/W: INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE V. MT KALI & 22 ORS, in which the vessel and its 22 crew members were jointly and individually arraigned.

Tantita Chairman, Tompolo

Despite the landmark judgement, the arraignment of the suspects failed as they were not produced in the court, reportedly by the office of the Chief of Defence Staff CDS). This is the first time in recent time, that oil thieves and their barons are being prosecuted and effectively brought to book.

Feelers from knowledgeable insiders indicate that despite efforts by the prosecuting counsel to convince the court to compel the military authorities to produce the suspects in court through subpoena on 18th March, 2024 being the next adjournment date, also proved abortive.

The court, however, warned that the charge may become defective if the defendants were not produced in court at the next adjourned date for their arraignment and plea.

It will be recalled that the rogue vessel was arrested by 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 belonging to Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), in Bayelsa State.

Twenty crew members, including accomplices from the local community were arrested in the operation. Insider sources in Tantita revealed that the expeditious litigation and hearing has been made possible throught the interplay and instrumentality of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Kayode Egbetokun.

According to our sources, the IGP 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.

Captain Enusiouh, recently receiving royal blessing from the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, on the outstanding performance of Tantita

While investigation into MT Kali was ongoing, the unapologetic Tantita Executive Director, Operations and Technical Services, Captain Warriedi Enisuoh together with his men and the IGP-STFPIB team arrested another illegal bunkering ship, MT HARBOR SPIRIT, on February 4th.

MT Kali

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

Usually dependable sources told our reporter that investigation into two other rogue ships, their crew members including, and may be arraigned in court on Friday, March 1st, 2024.

Tantita owned by former Niger Delta militant war lord, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, fondly called Tompolo was awarded the contract for the monitoring and production of oil pipelines by the NNPCL.

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