Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment, Sen. Ned Nwoko (PDP-Delta) has said that the destruction of vessels apprehended for carrying illegal goods and stolen crude oil by the military is to conceal or destroy evidence.
Nwoko stated this while speaking with newsmen in Abuja.
He argued that destroying what should serve as evidence for a crime committed makes no sense except the military was compromised.
“What is the point? It does not make any sense.
“You know, if somebody is found in possession of stolen goods, do you say, oh, the way to deal with this is to destroy it? No. You take it from them, you document it, you preserve it, you charge the culprits.
“And then you produce that in evidence against them in court and ultimately return that product to the owner,” he said.
The lawmaker maintained that oil companies, NNPC officials and the police may all be involved in the crude oil theft.
Nwoko asserted that that oil theft sometimes takes weeks to carry out and certain players have to be complicit for such an operation to be successful.
“Well, I think the military is complicit. You know they do this because some of them might have compromised.
“They have been bought over because to load this kind of commodity vessels- the crude – it takes weeks sometimes because of the size of the vessels, it takes time.
“So it’s not as if you just come one hour, you load it, and then you run. So it takes time to get to the point of loading, and most of them are actually loaded from the official platforms.
“So who are those involved? Who are those managing those platforms? The oil companies, The producing companies, NNPC officials, the police, may be all of them are involved,” he added.