…As DPR seals 9 filling stations in Ondo, Ekiti for various offences***
The Nigerian Navy on Friday paraded nine suspected illegal petroleum dealers arrested during their operation on the Igbokoda coastal-line in the Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the suspects were arrested with 92 drums of illegally-refined and adulterated Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS), which were presented as exhibits.
The suspects were: Marvelous Kalejaiye, Chuckwuma Oyeyemi, Olajide Omoseni, Ogunfeyinmi Oriade, Omotua Uyimigar. Kola Ogungbare, Wale Ogunfeyinmi, Ario Sama and Dayo Ojomo.
Navy Capt. Danjuma Ndanusa, the Commanding Officer, Nigerian Navy Forward Operation Base (FOB), Igbokoda, who paraded the suspects, reiterated the Navy’s commitment to stem illegal business transactions on waterways across the country.
He said that criminal activities on waterways in the country, particularly in Ondo state, would no longer succeed as his men were battle-ready and had taken up the fight against such criminalities with utmost priority.
According to him, the activities of the Nigeria Navy, as enshrined in the law, is to make sure that the nation’s maritime domain is free of illegalities such as illegal oil bunkering, piracy and sea robbery.
“Illegal bunkering, as you are aware, is not just inimical to the economy of the nation, but equally highly inimical to the well-being of our environment.
“I warn criminal elements to stay clear of the coastal area and at the same time, law abiding citizens of the area should join hands in riddling it of acts of criminality,’’ he said.
While handing over the suspects to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for onward prosecution, he urged governments at all levels to provide jobs for the youth to stem criminal activities.
In his response, Asst. Commander, Diko Ibrahim, the Area Commander, NSCDC, Okitipupa Command, commended the Navy for its unwavering efforts at ensuring that criminal activities were reduced.
He affirmed that the synergy between the two security agencies in curbing criminality on the waterways would yield more fruits in no distance time.
He also assured the Nigeria Navy that the suspects would be prosecuted, in accordance with the law.
Meanwhile, some of the suspects who confessed to the crime, added that it was their first involvement in the illegal business but it was as a result of the high rate of unemployment in the country.
In the meantime, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has sealed off nine erring filling stations in Ondo and Ekiti states for various offences.
Anthony Onaji, Head of Operations, DPR, Ondo State, said the offences bordered on non-approval of gas skids from the agency and under-dispensing of the pumps, thus making consumers to pay more for smaller quantities.
Onaji spoke with newsmen on Friday in Akure, after an inspection tour of some filling stations in Ondo and Ekiti states.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a gas station was sealed in Akure, while four filling stations were sealed in each of Ekiti and Ondo states.
Onaji added that some of the filling stations did not even possess the required licensing to operate “because they are not registered with the DPR’’.
“The affected filling stations had been earlier warned, but they did not heed the warning. What they have done is punishable under the law, so they will be made to bear the full weight of the law.
“One of the filling stations was sealed because it is carrying a dual identity, which is also punishable under the law. The station has been fined and it is to pay N250, 000 to the Federal Government.
“The agency will not allow indiscriminate location of gas stations because it is dangerous to lives and property. Therefore, we will continue to seal filling stations that operate without valid documents and the operation will extend to the remotest parts of the two states.
“Our activities will serve as a deterrent to other stations that operate without appropriate licensing, as well as those who operate gas skids without proper approvals,’’ he said.