The Nigerian Navy while reacting to accusations made by a former Niger Delta militant, Asari Dokubo, that it is behind most of the oil theft in the country has challenged its accuser, to come forward with his evidence and name the guilty commanders.
Dokubo, after a closed door meeting with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Aso Rock on Friday, accused the military, including the Nigerian Navy of being behind about 99% of oil theft in the Niger Delta.
The former militant who vowed to work with his boys to make sure oil theft comes to an end in the region also said he was sure the clean up exercise will send some naval commanders to prison.
Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, the Director of Navy Information, while responding to the accusations in an interview with NAN dared Dokubo to name naval commanders involved in oil theft with evidence.
Ayo-Vaughan citing examples explained that the Navy has been in the lead, combating oil theft.
Making reference to the case of MT HEROIC IDUN in 2022, Ayo-Vaughan said it proved the commitment of the Navy to go to any length, even beyond the country’s territory to recover oil loaded in ship without proper certification.
He recalled that the suspect arrested at Guinea Bissau, Malabo Island were brought back to the country, arraigned in court and ordered to pay fines to the Nigerian government.
Ayo-Vaughan said the Navy has taken measures to combat oil theft both on the creeks and on land, and one of such measures was the launch of Operation Dakatarda Barawo, which means stop the thief in Hausa language which happened on board one of Navy ships at FOT in Onne.
The Director of Navy Information said even though Dokubo made those allegations just to seek relevance and favour from the new government, his allegations will not be swept under carpet.
He said: “He alleges that there is a cabal of military people that are involved in crude oil theft, let him bring the names.
“Nobody is afraid of getting the names of those involved in crude oil theft.
“You cannot make such spurious allegations and think that we will just sweep it down the carpet.
“So for anybody to say that there is a cabal of military officers, the only simple thing to do is bring the evidence, bring the names.”