In a swift response to a distress call, the Nigerian Navy stationed at FOB LEKKI foiled an attempted oil theft operation on the waterways near Itolu community, Lekki, in Lagos State.
Nigeriacrime.com learned that the incident occurred early hours of 29 August 2023, when local youths reported gunshots in the vicinity of the community.
Reviving the information, naval patrol teams immediately launched a response operation. Upon arrival at the scene, the naval team met 4 individuals dressed in black polo shirts with TANTITA inscribed on the back, trying to recover a dismantled outboard engine from a local.
The team recovered the engine and apprehended the 4 Tantita Employees. It was after this arrest that the Patrol Team realized that the 4 individuals are part of a movement of a large wooden boat with 2 fiber boats.
The 4 arrested individuals beckoned on the 2 fiber boats to approach them but when they noticed NN patrol teams, the boats altered courses fled away and abandoned the large wooden boat laden with 11 x 1000L Geepee tanks with product suspected to be stolen crude oil.
The arrested individuals have been identified as Asonja Goddey (28), Obajimi Oluwaseyifunmi (38), Awoowo Aribo (35), and Oluwadaisi Balogun (40), all hailing from Igbokoda in Ondo State. The owner of the boat they were trying to forcibly employ, Ishola Ojubuyi (42), was also taken into custody.
The Nigerian Navy has initiated an investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident particularly the possession of firearms used in the community, economic sabotage, how the product came from Ondo State to Lagos State as well as attempting to steal a boat engine from the locals.
One Mr Owoyele Omotuyi who was identified as a Tantita staff, came to secure the release of the 4 apprehended, claiming they are Tantita employees. All suspects along with the confiscated exhibits, will be handed over to appropriate agencies for further necessary action and prosecution.
The Nigerian Navy under the watch of Vice Admiral EI Ogalla, Chief of the Naval Staff, remains resolute towards ensuring the maritime environment is conducive for legitimate businesses necessary for the economic prosperity of the nation.