A private company contracted by the Federal Government for crude oil pipeline surveillance; Tantita Security Services Limited has accused personnel of the Nigerian Navy of shady deals in the creeks of the Niger Delta.
In a statement issued on Friday and signed by Tanita’s Executive Director, Operations and Technical, Capt. Warredi Enisuoh, the firm made specific reference to the recent arrest of a ship in Igbokoda in Ondo state.
He also frowned at a statement issued by the Nigerian Navy, which alleged that its operatives was involved in the illegal activities of a 77-meter-long Motor Tanker (MT) VINNALARIS 1 LAGOS in crude oil theft.
Enisuoh said the statement was as “defamatory and libellous” to the organisation, and deliberate distortion of facts.
According to Enisuoh: “In the statement made on Thursday, December 7, 2023, by the Director of Naval Information, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, he informed the general public that the Nigerian Navy had detected and arrested a 77-meter-long motor tanker for crude oil theft with her 17 crew members”.
Exonerating personnel of Tanita securities from any shady deals as alleged by the Nigerian Navy, Capt Enisuoh quoted the statement made by the Navy. “He further added and we quote, ‘it is believed that Tantita Security Services is involved in these illegalities because Awoye riverine area which is close to the place of arrest is covered by TSS’. Again, it was upon the arrest of the vessel by the Nigerian Navy that TSS began to raise (the) false alarm, totally unfounded and indeed mischievous.”
Recall that the Nigerian Navy had on Thursday said its Forward Operating Base (FOB), IGBOKODA, in Ondo State, apprehended a 77-meter-long Motor Tanker (MT) VINNALARIS 1 LAGOS involved in crude oil theft.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Director of Naval Information, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, in Abuja.
Ayo-Vaughan said the vessel, which had 17 crew members onboard at the time of arrest, was caught engaging in illegal siphoning of crude oil from one of the well heads at EBESAN oil field about 7 nautical miles off the coast of Awoye riverine community in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo state.
He said the arrest of the vessel followed credible intelligence received by the Base on the illegal activities of crude oil thieves at the location, which informed the swift deployment of FOB IGBOKODA personnel to nab the vessel and her crew.
According to him, it is believed that Tantita Security Service (TSS) is involved in these illegalities because Awoye riverine area which is close to the place of arrest is covered by TSS.
“Again, it was upon the arrest of the vessel by the Nigerian navy that TSS began to raise false alarm, totally unfounded and indeed mischievous.
But reacting to the allegation, Capt Enisuoh said: “We are indeed saddened and disappointed that the Nigerian Navy could descend so low as to make such bizarre accusations against our organisation knowing the same to be false”.
He disclosed further that, “Perhaps they are not aware that video evidence of what transpired between the Tantita operatives and the Nigerian Navy at the scene exists and has been transmitted to the highest authorities. We will therefore not join issues with the Nigerian Navy as we are well aware that Nigerians know who is who.”