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Nigerian Navy Foils Oil Theft, Apprehends Suspected Smuggler

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The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Ibaka, Akwa Ibom, has intercepted a suspected oil thief en route to Cameroon, with a cargo of 15,500 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

Captain Uche Aneke, the Commanding Officer of the Base, disclosed this development at Ibaka while handing over the suspect and the seized product to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC).

According to Aneke, the suspect was apprehended around 2:00 a.m. on Friday, March 22, following an intelligence report indicating that a boat was transporting suspected smuggled products through the FOB Ibaka operational area, destined for Cameroon. Acting swiftly upon the intelligence, naval operatives intercepted the boat and discovered the concealed PMS under a tarpaulin. The suspected smuggler onboard was promptly arrested.

Aneke emphasized the commitment of the Nigerian Navy to thwarting criminal activities within its operational domain, utilizing advanced surveillance equipment and intelligence-gathering techniques. He issued a stern warning to criminals, emphasizing that Nigeria’s maritime and coastal territories are off-limits to illegal activities.

Upon receiving the seized exhibit, Etefia Koko-Ette, the Head of the Anti-Vandal Unit of the NSCDC command in Akwa Ibom, assured that further investigations would be conducted into the matter. This collaborative effort between the Nigerian Navy and NSCDC underscores the commitment to combating oil theft and smuggling activities in the region.

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Crime

EFCC Commences Probe into Eight Suspects for Alleged Illegal Oil Bunkering in Akwa Ibom

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has announced the initiation of an investigation into eight individuals suspected of engaging in illegal oil bunkering activities in Akwa Ibom State.

According to EFCC spokesman Dele Oyewale, who issued a statement in Uyo on Tuesday, the suspects were apprehended for dealing in petroleum products without the appropriate licensing.

Though the identities of the suspects were not disclosed, Oyewale stated that they were arrested by the Nigeria Navy Ship, Forward Operating Base (FOB) Ibaka, on February 23 while aboard a wooden boat named MV Jasmine.

“The suspects were apprehended in possession of 30,000 litres of petroleum products suspected to be crude oil, stored in four plastic tanks,” he added.

Oyewale further mentioned that the suspects and the confiscated exhibits were handed over to the EFCC on April 3 by the Commanding Officer of FOB Ibaka, Capt. Uche Aneke.

Assuring a thorough investigation into the matter, the EFCC spokesperson reiterated the commission’s commitment to addressing illegal oil bunkering activities.

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Police Officers Injured in Cult Attack During Undercover Mission in Akwa Ibom State

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Two officers of the Nigeria Police Force, reportedly on an undercover mission, were severely injured by suspected cult members in Akwa Ibom State.

Reports revealed that the officers narrowly escaped being lynched but suffered multiple machete and projectile assaults by the criminals.

According to sources, the incident occurred when the officers, from the Abak local government area divisional headquarters, went to Ibong Ikot Akpan Abasi Village, Otoro Clan in Abak local government area to arrest a wanted criminal known as Udo. They succeeded in apprehending the suspect but encountered vehicle trouble on their way back to the station.

The criminals, led by Udo, raised an alarm claiming they were being kidnapped by unknown persons. This prompted youths from the community to mobilize and attack the officers with machetes and other weapons, despite their attempts to show their identity cards.

The severity of the attack left the officers with bruises all over their bodies, and they were later evacuated to a hospital for treatment after intervention from the paramount ruler of Abak. The police authorities have confirmed the incident and assured that the injured officers are receiving medical attention.

The state commissioner of police, Mr. Waheed Ayilara, has directed a specialized investigation team to work with other security agencies to apprehend the wanted criminal and his accomplices responsible for the assault.

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Akwa Ibom Community Celebrates as Court Sentences Local Terror to Death

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In a momentous ruling that resonated deeply with the people of Idung Ntuk Umah in Oruk Anam Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, the State High Court has delivered a verdict that has been widely celebrated by the local community.

Udobong Stephen Adiahaunwa, a 48-year-old father of two and brother to the late Village Head, was sentenced to death by hanging, marking a significant milestone in the community’s fight against crime and terror.

Presided over by Justice Gabriel Ette, the court found Udobong guilty on charges of conspiracy, armed robbery, and terrorism, bringing an end to a series of criminal activities that had plagued the village for years. The charges stem from incidents dating back to 2009, including armed robbery, abduction, and the forceful initiation of teenagers into cult groups, all of which left the community in a state of fear and turmoil.

Udobong’s criminal spree began on December 29, 2009, when he and his gang, disguised as SARS Police operatives, abducted Friday Jackson Joe, who remains missing. Subsequent years saw further atrocities, including the robbery of village treasurers and the forceful initiation of teenagers into cultism, culminating in widespread fear and the destabilization of community life.

Despite previous arrests and temporary releases, Udobong’s reign of terror continued until his rearrest in December 2020, followed by a trial that concluded with his sentencing. His attempts to evade justice, including filing a suit for breach of fundamental rights while in hiding, ultimately failed to deter the course of law.

The verdict, delivered after a thorough examination of evidence and testimonies, was met with overwhelming approval from the community members who packed the courtroom to its capacity. This sentencing not only signifies a triumph of justice but also marks a pivotal moment of relief and hopeful restoration for the people of Idung Ntuk Umah.

The community has lauded Justice Gabriel Ette for his decisive judgement, viewing it as a restoration of their faith in the judiciary’s ability to uphold justice and protect the innocent. Udobong’s condemnation is seen as a closure to a dark chapter in the village’s history, offering a glimmer of hope for a peaceful and more secure future for the residents of Idung Ntuk Umah.

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