JTF makes 1,605 arrests, confiscates arms in Niger Delta
THE Joint Task Force (JTF), comprising operatives of the Army, Police, Air Force as well as the Nigerian Security and Defence Corps, says it made thousands of arrests and recovered several arms and ammunition in the outgoing year.
Troops of the outfit, code named, ‘’Operation Pulo Shield,’’ also last week paraded five notorious sea robbers and two suspected illegal oil thieves in the creeks of Sangala in Southern Ijaw Local Council of Bayelsa State.
According to its commander, Major General Alani Gafar Okunlola, the over 1,605
suspects were apprehended for various crimes ranging from sea piracy, kidnapping to illegal oil bunkering among other vices.
He reiterated the determination of his outfit to carry out a sustained war against crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and other criminal activities that affect the socio-economic development of the region and the country at large.
Okunlola, who was represented by the command’s spokesman and Coordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre, Col. Isa Ado, said his men recovered from the suspects four short guns, four cartridges and 12 mobile handsets as well as other personal effects.
He gave their names as Gabriel Abel 23; Ebiaredia Godday, 23; Samson Ezekiel, Gift Enihus and Richard Christian.
The military chief added that the suspects were in custody pending conclusion of preliminary
“The Command, during the year, intercepted and arrested 2,000 metric tons capacity vessel christened MV EUROPORT, laden with 1,500 metric tons of stolen crude oil along Forupa channel in Southern Ijaw Area of Bayelsa State.
“The troops also arrested two persons, Mr. Gege Esua and Mr. Tombia Guyman along Letugbene Tunu axis in Ekeremor area of Bayelsa State,’’ Okunola added.
He noted that in its bid to make the region conducive for economic and commercial activities, the security outfit destroyed several kidnappers’ abodes across the creeks of the region.
The command, according to him, also recovered weapons including machine guns, AK47, automatic rifles, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), live cartridges of different make.
We have also embarked on confidence building patrols to dissuade the youths and community from involving in illegal oil bunkering and other criminalities in the region and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other international oil companies (IOCs) operating in the region have acknowledged an increase in oil production due to the command’s aggressive day and night patrols along the creeks,’ he stated.