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Navy Challenges Ex-Militant Dokubo to Produce Evidence of Oil Theft


ABUJA – The Nigerian Navy has strongly refuted allegations made by former militant leader Asari Dokubo, who claimed that a cabal of military personnel is involved in crude oil theft. The naval spokesman, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, challenged Mr. Dokubo to provide concrete evidence and names of individuals implicated in the criminal activities.

Mr. Dokubo, during his visit to President Bola Tinubu in Abuja last Friday, made sensational claims regarding military complicity in oil theft. However, in response to these allegations, Commodore Ayo-Vaughan stated in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday that the Nigerian military, and the navy in particular, has been at the forefront of combatting crude oil theft across the country.

Crude oil theft has plagued Nigeria for years, with criminals exploiting pipelines and offshore facilities to siphon valuable resources. The navy has been actively engaged in operations aimed at curbing this illegal activity, both in the creeks and offshore. Commodore Ayo-Vaughan pointed out the case of MT HEROIC IDUN as an example, where the navy successfully apprehended the vessel involved in unauthorized loading of crude oil in international waters. This operation demonstrated the navy’s commitment to pursuing criminals beyond Nigerian waters to protect the nation’s resources.

The naval spokesman further highlighted Operation Dakatarda Barawo, launched by the navy, which translates to “stop the thief” in the Hausa language. The operation was specifically designed to combat crude oil theft and involved extensive operations in the creeks. Commodore Ayo-Vaughan emphasized that the navy’s dedication to combating this illicit activity is unwavering, with personnel currently engaged in ongoing operations in the creeks.

In response to Mr. Dokubo’s allegations, Commodore Ayo-Vaughan dismissed them as an attempt to gain relevance and publicity. He challenged Mr. Dokubo to provide concrete evidence and the names of individuals involved in crude oil theft, stating that no one is afraid of exposing those responsible. The navy spokesperson emphasized that such serious accusations cannot be casually swept under the carpet without proper investigation.

Additionally, Commodore Ayo-Vaughan stressed that both the Chief of Defence Staff and the Chief of Naval Staff unequivocally condemn any involvement of military personnel in crude oil theft. The navy is resolute in its commitment to upholding integrity and combating the illicit activities plaguing the Niger Delta region.

Furthermore, Commodore Ayo-Vaughan pointed out that the Nigerian military’s efforts in the Niger Delta played a significant role in Nigeria’s achievement of the top spot in oil production among African oil-producing countries in May, as confirmed by OPEC, NUPRC, and other relevant organizations. This accomplishment serves as a testament to the navy’s active involvement in safeguarding Nigeria’s oil resources.

The navy spokesperson emphasized that the Nigerian Navy will not be distracted by baseless allegations and will continue to be actively involved in the fight against crude oil theft in the Niger Delta. Commodore Ayo-Vaughan reiterated that anyone making claims of a military cabal’s involvement should provide substantiated evidence and names to support their allegations.

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