What could have turned out to be another disastrous event in the creeks of Delta state was over the weekend salvaged as men of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta arrested a suspect with huge sausages of explosives and connecting devices.
Parading the suspect and seven others, who were arrested at different times for various offences, at the jetty of the Warri Naval Base, the Base Operations Officer of the NNS Delta, Commander Shehu Tasiu, said the suspect with the explosive materials, who gave his name as Sabbath Enaizigha, was arrested somewhere in Warri South-West council area of the state.
Tasiu, who later handed the suspects over to the representatives of the Warri Area Command of the Delta state police command, said other persons arrested were caught in activities ranging from oil theft to illegal crude oil refining and impersonating.
Beside Enaizigha, who was arrested with explosives last Friday, other persons paraded were Uwatse Samson and Sunny Saidu, who were arrested together on a boat loaded with illegally refined diesel fuel oil.
Favour, Godpassdem, Doughe and Adeoye were arrested in another operation, caught with a Cotonou boat, which was loaded with 100 metric tons of illegally refined diesel.
“Mr Sabbath was arrested on Friday by our patrol team at an undisclosed location in Warri South-West council area. Our patrol team sighted them at a beach and their behaviour was suspect. Consequently, our men moved towards them and on sighting our men, they took off, unfortunately Mr Sabbath was caught. We saw him with cutlass and there was a boat. On searching the boat, we found detonating cuts, explosive powder, cutlasses, batteries, a telephone and one bale each of red and white materials (cloths).
“Mr Sabbath was also seen tying this red material on his legs and the white material round his neck. Although he claims not to know anything about the boat, when you go to check the boat you will see that the boat too has these red and white materials tied on it. We have done our preliminary investigation and he will be handed over to the police for further investigation and possible prosecution,” he said.
He had earlier said “we have made several arrests between 23 and 25 of March; eight persons in four different operations. We arrested two persons; Mr Uwatse Samson and Mr Sunny Saidu, on March 23, for suspected illegal oil bunkering activities at a camp jointly operated by Mr Cheke, Mr Gamu and Mr Benson Uwatse in Ugbodede. That camp is known for cooking of stolen crude oil.
“When our patrol team got there, they were cited with a boat, loaded with illegally refined product, suspected to be A.G.O. They were arrested by our men and the boats were burnt insitu.
“Another arrest was made on the same day; 23rd of March, 2016. This time around four suspects were arrested along Escravos Channel. They are Mr Favour, Mr. Godpassdem, Mr Doughe and Mr Adeoye. They were also arrested for carrying illegally refined product for which they did not have legal papers and they could not explain the circumstances under which they got the product. They were carrying about 100 metric tons of illegally refined A.G.O in a Cotonou boat,” Tasiu said