The Nigerian Navy on Saturday has vehemently refuted certain allegations, denying any involvement by its Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, in awarding a $170 million oil contract or engaging in oil-splitting fraud.
Describing the allegations published in a media outlet as “untenable, baseless and untrue”, the security agency noted that there are certain procedural requirements in the arrest, detention and release of any vessel or persons found in the maritime environments.
“Indeed, all arrested vessels mentioned in the publication that were involved in crude oil theft and illegal oil bunkering are being investigated and none of such vessels has been released as alleged.
“Secondly, the CNS does not award or oversea oil bunkering contracts; the awards of such is the sole prerogative of NNPCL.
“Thirdly, all contracts awarded by the Navy follow due process in line with the laws of the Federation. The Nigeria Navy (NN) and her roles is an offshoot of the constitutional provisions and duly guided by extant laws and regulations of of the lands,” the Navy noted.
Disgruntled Cartels behind “Blackmail”
Speaking further, Vaughan noted that the allegations are being sponsored by “disgruntled elements” who are feeling the heat of the military’s clampdown on oil theft in the country.
According to the statement, the cartel are pushing cheap blackmail to continue on oil theft activities in the Niger Delta region of the country.
“Specifically, the continuous rejuvenated operations towards curbing oil theft have given the oil thieves sleepless nights hence the decision to engage in the malicious publications.
“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.
“Pertinently, the NN will continue to ensure legitimate businesses in the maritime domain thrive seamlessly,” the statement added.
What you should know
Earlier yesterday, a media outlet alleged that the naval Chief of Staff, Emmanuel Ogalla, is found culpable of a $170 million dollars oil bunkering contract fraud.
The media also reported that the federal government is currently probing the Ogalla as result of the fraudulent activities in the maritime sector.
Meanwhile, the Navy has refuted these claims describing them as baseless and untrue. The Navy also added that only NNPCL has the right to award foreign oil contracts in Nigeria.
Download Nairametrics App for breaking news and market intelligence.
Cyrus Ademola is a political and economy analyst with over half a decade experience in journalism, research-based oped, economic reportage and political analysis. His works have been featured on different media outlets, covering from politics to business trends, to crime and security as well as the real estate sector.