The President of One Love Foundation, Chief Dr Patrick Osagie Eholor has written to the Attorney General of the Federation, the Chief of Naval Staff, and the Chief of Defense Staff over the burning of a shipping vessel apprehended by Tompolo’s security being used for oil theft.
Recall that Tantita Security Services had apprehended a large ship, the MT Deima with International Maritime Organisation Number: 7210525 conveying stolen crude and handed it over to military personnel. However, the military authorities had ordered the immediate burning of the ship, a development which did not go down well with Nigerians as they accused the military authorities of trying to conceal evidence of high level criminal activity.
Chief Dr Eholor had in a news conference, demanded that the Chief of Defense Staff resign for that singular act and hand himself over to the police for investigation.
In a new development, Eholor has written to the Honourable Attorney General of Federation, Chief of Defense Staff and the Chief of Naval Staff over the same issue.
In letters made available to Jungle-Journalist.Com, the legal counsel representing the human rights defender, Ihensekhien Samuel Jnr is asking the three to take up action immediately against those who were behind the burning, according to extant laws of the Nigerian military, ans the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The letters read in part “Burning of Shipping Vessels by Nigeria Navy and Personnel and our Request for Prompt Handover to the AGF, and any Appropriate Security Agency for Prosecution”
‘We are legal practitioners and we write on behalf of One Love Foundation and Chief (Dr) Patrick Eholor (hereinafter reffered to as our clients).
We are aware that news making rounds on the airwaves that the vessel, MT Deima with International Maritime Organisation Number: 7210525 which was arrested by some workers of Tantita Security Services Limited was set on fire by the Nigerian navy officers, millitary personnel and some person’s
“We are also informed that Tompolo’s team workers, i.e Tantita Security Services workers who tracked and arrested the vessel, handed it to the Nigerian navy with the crew onboard for investigation and possible prosecution.
However we are disturbed of the news making the rounds, that instead of handling of all above actors to the appropriate security agency for prosecution, that the Nigeria navy and some personnels of the Nigeria army, have destroyed the ship used for the above oil theft , in other to sabotage the fg efforts in curbing oil theft in the Niger delta region of Nigeria.
“However by the actions of the Nigeria army persons and the personnel, who actually carried out this grevious crime of burning of shipping vessels after apprehension of the pipeline thieves, is however against the provisions of section 111 of the Armed Forces Act, which provide that a person subject to service law under the Act who wilfully or maliciously sets fire to a public building, dwelling house, an office or any structure whatsoever or any vessel, ship, aircraft, railway track or wagon, or vehicle is guilty of arson and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for life.
It in this regard, we request from your office to as a first point of call to do the following vizaviz:
1. Handing over of the millitary personnel, state actors, and suspects involved in the instant case to the appropriate agency for prompt prosecution,
2. Proper court martial of any military officer found wanting in the illegal theft and other sundry crimes in respect of the above,
3.. Evidence of such compliance should be made available to the public and our office within seven days from today.
However we are also by this letter, requesting that the above should be done with seven days, or else . We shall all meet in the appropriate court, by way of a suit of mandamus to compel our above official simple request. The choice of litigation, is for the Nigeria Army to make. We are grateful.”
See letters below: