Wednesday, 4th October 2023
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Rivers police commissioner investigates DPO for alleged illegal bunkering

By Tina Abeku (Abuja) and Obinna Nwaoku (Port Harcourt)
17 January 2022   |   3:50 am
Rivers State Police Command has set up a panel, chaired by an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), to investigate the alleged involvement of a Divisional Police Officer(DPO) in illegal bunkering activities in the state.

Wike (middle) during inspection of Illegal bunkering sites in the state… yesterday.

•NSCDC disbands anti-vandal unit over allegation

Rivers State Police Command has set up a panel, chaired by an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), to investigate the alleged involvement of a Divisional Police Officer(DPO) in illegal bunkering activities in the state.

This followed allegation by the state Governor, Nyesom Wike, against the former DPO of Rumuji Police Division in Emohua Council Area, of aiding and abetting illegal artisanal crude oil refiners in the area.

According to a statement signed by the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Grace Iringe-Koko, yesterday, the state command had received with concern the news of its officer’s alleged involvement in the act. He said the DPO was redeployed immediately and a panel set up to investigate the matter.

The statement reads in part: “The Rivers State Police Command received with concern the news making the rounds that a Divisional Police Officer in the state is involved in illegal bunkering activities. The officer was immediately redeployed and a panel headed by an Assistant Commissioner of Police was inaugurated to investigate the matter.

“The outcome shall be made public and the officer punished appropriately if the allegations are confirmed.”The commissioner, Eboka Friday, also reiterated the commitment of the command to supporting the state government in its war against illegal oil bunkering activities and assured the public that the command would not spare any indicted person no matter how highly placed. He called on anyone with useful information not to hesitate in passing it to the security agencies or the local council chairmen.

MEANWHILE, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has ordered the disbandment of its anti-vandal team in Rivers State over allegation by the state government that the team has been aiding and abetting illegal bunkering.

Commandant-General of the corps, Dr. Ahmed Audi, made this known in a communiqué at the weekend in Abuja, where, he stated that the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, accused the team of aiding and abetting bunkerers, thereby compromising the integrity of the agency.

Audi said: “I received with shock and dismay allegations levelled against the anti-vandal unit of Rivers State Command of the Corps by the Executive Governor of the state, Nyesom Wike, wherein the team was accused of aiding and abetting vandals and illegal bunkerers to carry out their nefarious activities in the state.

“I have ordered the suspension of the head of the anti-vandal team and the disbandment of the unit with immediate effect, pending the outcome of an independent enquiry set up to look into the weighty allegations levelled against the unit by the governor.”

He said the extant rules and regulations guiding the NSCDC operations and the general ethics of the service required total discipline, integrity, incorruptibility, transparency and accountability on the part of every corps member, hence the reason for this immediate action.

The CG further directed the Acting Deputy Commandant-General, (DCG) in charge of investigation and intelligence to summon all officers involved to the National Headquarters, Abuja for further investigation to determine the level of involvement and or culpability with a view to dispensing justice appropriately.

He said: “We will ascertain the veracity of the allegation and roles played by the individuals involved and whoever is found guilty would face necessary disciplinary actions and punishment.”

While assuring the governor of getting to the root of the matter without delay, Audi said the allegation is not in tandem with his vision for the Corps, therefore he would not condone any criminal act or act of compromise by any personnel.

“The swift action taken by me is to close any identified gaps in our operations and service to the nation, I will not tolerate any act of indiscipline, compromise or sabotage under any guise; our founding fathers have worked so hard to earn good name for the service as a noble organisation and I will not allow a few bad eggs to spoil our name, image, our credibility and integrity. We will investigate those fingered in the allegations and deal decisively with them if found guilty to serve as a deterrent to others.

“Our moral principles are not negotiable; we are going to rejig the unit and fish out those spoiling the name of the Corps, my fight against vandals, illegal oil bunkerers and those stealing our collective wealth and sabotaging our economy is unflinching and we will redoubled our efforts to whittle down this act of sabotage and bring to justice anyone not in tune with our vision and mission for the service,” he added.