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Police arrest nine clerics for allegedly violating stay-at-home order in Bayelsa

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Military rescues 15 hostages, recovers ammunitions

The Bayelsa Police Command has arrested nine pastors for allegedly violating the stay-at-home order imposed by the Governor Douye Diri administration to control the spread of the novel coronavirus in the state.

A statement by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Orientation and member, State Task Force On COVID-19, Freston Akpor, said the clerics were arrested at different churches in Yenagoa. He added that the suspects were being detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), and would be charged to court in due course.

However, troops of Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) have rescued 15 persons kidnapped by sea robbers at Abua Open Water in Nembe council area of the state.
The Sector 2 of the force, while on a routine patrol at Nembe Owelesu, encountered the pirates who eventually escaped into the creeks, leading to the rescue of the 15 persons from five speedboats.

A statement yesterday by the spokesman of the Joint Task Force of OPDS, Major Victor Olukoya, said: “Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), whose mandate is to ‘protect oil and gas infrastructure, deter and prevent militancy, sea robbery, crude oil theft and other forms of criminality within its area of operations, sustained its operation to ensure conducive environment for operation of oil and gas industries and other legitimate activities to thrive.”

It went on: “On 23 April 2020, acting on a tip off, NNS PATHFINDER patrol team intercepted and arrested three barges (MV Rock 1, JULIANAH and an unnamed barge) laden with illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) at Agip waterfront for suspected involvement in illegal bunkering activities. The team also arrested another barge laden with suspected stolen crude oil around Okochiri River entrance.

“Also, troops of Sector 3 OPDS conducted raid on four illegal refinery sites along Dema Abby-Oputumbi, Nanabie-Promise Land-Otobie and Ogono general area. Items discovered and appropriately handled include seven boilers, nine storage tanks, eight metal tanks, one dugout reservoir all filled with stolen crude oil, eight metal tanks, 18 metal drums, 11 reservoir tanks filled with illegally refined AGO and Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK).

“Also, two empty Cotonou boats, one power generating set, one pumping machine, two welding machines, one filing machine, rolls of hose, and one speedboat mounted with 75 HP engine (use for bunkering activities) were also discovered within the sites. Additionally, same troops of Sector 3 on patrol intercepted a barge laden with suspected illegally refined AGO around Orutoru general area of Rivers State.”

He continued: “In another development, on April 25,2020, following (an) intelligence report, HQ OPDS patrol team conducted anti-illegal refinery operations at Uzere community in Isoko South of Delta State. During the operation, the team discovered and appropriately handled an illegal refinery site with an oven, four metal storage tanks and two dug out pits. The team also recovered a Dane gun loaded with one ammunition. Furthermore, the team conducted anti robbery/cultism operations at Tamigbe in Ekeremor LGA of Bayelsa State. The team arrested two suspects with a locally made gun and cutlass during the operation.”

The task force further said: “Additionally, on April 23,2020, troops of Sector 2 OPDS deployed along KCTL pipeline at Odau community in Abua/Odual LGA of Rivers State arrested three suspected pipeline vandals around Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) pipeline.

“Overall, a total of three weapons were recovered, 48 illegal refineries, 28 surface metal storage tanks, 60 cooking ovens and 18 Cotonou boats among others were discovered while about 58,500 litres of DPK, 11, 750 litres of PMS, 855,900 litres of AGO and an estimated 1, 507,000 litres of crude oil were seized by troops.”


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