CITIZENS COMPASS —THE headquarters of Lagos State Police Command yesterday, played host to the Nigerian Navy which handed over five suspected oil thieves and boat snatchers to the former.
The Nigerian Navy arrested the suspects who claimed to be members of Tantita Security Service were arrested on Tuesday, August 29, 2023 and handed them over to the Police yesterday, in the presence of journalists.
They were; Owoyele Joseph Omotuyi, Obajimi Oluwaseyifunmi, Balogun Oluwadaisi, Asonja Godday and Awolowo Aribo were arrested on August 29, 2023.
Exhibits recovered from the suspects include a 300-horsepower boat engine and eleven 1000 litres tanks with petroleum products suspected to be stolen crude oil.
Speaking at the event, the Commander, Nigeria Navy Ship BEECROFT, Apapa, Commodore Kolawole Oguntuga, said the five were apprehended in Tolu Community, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos.
According to him, “We received a distress call from the community that sporadic gunshots were heard. So, men from the operating base in Lekki, on getting to the waterfront, met the men dressed in black polo T-shirts with Tantita written at the back.
“They were trying to forcefully collect a 300-horsepower outboard engine from a local. Our men apprehended them and retrieved the engine.”
Thereafter, our men realised that the arrested men were part of a group escorting two wooden boats.
“Our men beckoned on them to come over but they took off, but our men approached the boats only to discover eleven 1000 litres tanks with petroleum products suspected to be stolen crude oil onboard the wooden boats.
“The handover of the suspects and the exhibits to the Nigeria Police is to unravel the circumstances and the escaped men in the other boat that are at large.
“Also, this handover re-enforces the synergy between the security agencies that we will continue to work together and leave no gap for any person or group to have their way to carry out nefarious activities in the state.
“This is to advise the public, especially those in coastal communities, that security agencies will not relent in ensuring the environment is conducive for people to do legitimate business in accordance with the law.”
In his response, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Idowu Owohunwa, said: “The statement has been clearly stated that in Lagos State, security architecture is built on strong synergy between the Police, Military, intelligence community and state security agencies and that is a clear statement to the criminals that as far as Lagos State internal security is concerned, we have a very united force and commonly deal with any network and individual that might wish to test our common synergy.
“It is also a clear statement on the depth of the increasing trust in the capacity of the Nigeria Police to be professionally guided in investigative activities.
“We will take the suspects and exhibits and work with our colleagues to get to the root of the matter so that the clear statement will be made to the ctiminals and make us a no-go area to them.
“I want to thank Commodore Oguntuga for the confidence and excellent operational breakthrough that has been recorded under his command and I encourage him to sustain it as we continue to depend on his expertise to attain a common goal. “
Earlier, spokesperson of the Command, Benjamin Hundeyin in his brief introduction about the event said,” Gentlemen of the press, this is going to be a very short ceremony, it is the handing over of some suspects and exhibits apprehended by the Nigerian Navy to the Lagos State Police Command. This underscores the ever-growing synergy between the Police and Military particularly the Nigerian Navy.”