Politics

Senator Ezea Faults Allegation of Oil Theft Against Chief of Naval Staff

 

The Senator representing Enugu North Senatorial District in the Senate, Okey Ezea, has said the allegations of unauthorised oil bunkering against the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla, were orchestrated to force him out of office by oil thieves.

Sen Ezea stated this via his verified X. According to him, “There seems to have been an orchestrated scheme to harass and intimidate the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla, out of office. The culprits obviously are oil thieves who have met a brick wall in the very competent and incorruptible naval chief.

 

“The allegations in their campaign of calumny have no facts, otherwise they would have since presented them. In any case, the Nigerian Navy’s statement entitled ‘Sponsored malicious publication against the office and person of the Chief of the Naval Staff’ provides all the answers.

 

“Online publications being used to propagate this evil campaign should remember that defamation of character is still a crime under Nigerian law. They should not resort to begging when the chips are down.”

An online publication (Not Silvernews.com.ng) had claimed that it “reviewed how Mr Ogalla freed several oil tankers busted for transporting stolen crude off Nigerian shores after receiving kickbacks in millions of American dollars and also rebuffed internal calls to remove his underlings who helped facilitate the scheme —underscoring the steepness of a debased practice that has assailed top players in Nigeria’s oil security and administration for decades.”

 

The Naval Headquarters, however, disclaimed the report in a rebuttal signed by Rear Admiral Adetokun Ayo-Vaughan, Director of Information, the Nigerian Navy (NN).

 

Ayo-Vaughan stated that, “The Service is aware of the coordinated frantic efforts to blackmail the office and person of the CNS by some disgruntled elements who are feeling the heat of the Nigerian Navy’s renewed vigour to fight crude oil theft and illegalities in the maritime domain as well as those who have in one way or the order shortchanged the Navy before now.

 

“Indeed, the NN is aware of these antics as it is expected considering the current resolve of the NN to engage oil thieves head-on. The cartel hitherto believed no individual could confront its ranks. Fortunately, the recent achievements of the NN in this regard have put them on their heels hence the resort to cheap blackmail through immoral and compromised online media publishers.

 

“Tantita Security Services Limited (TSL) owned by former militant Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo) is one of the firms allegedly unhappy with NN in the Niger Delta. Oil thieves loom large in the country’s coastal waters, and they constitute a powerful cabal that could needle anyone that refuses to play ball with them.”

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