Troops recover 3.8m litres of stolen crude oil, arrest oil thieves in South-South

…4,770 Boko Haram terrorists surrender to troops

By Chimezie Godfrey

Troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria have arrested 26 oil thieves, recovered 3,810,000 litres of crude oil, and 3,074,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil, among others in the South-South zone of the country.

This is coming at a time when the country is under excruciating scarcity of fuel and other petroleum products which has caused more hardship for the citizens. This sabotage adds greatly to the environmental degradation suffered by the people the zone.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, DHQ, Abuja, Maj-Gen Benard Onyeuko made this known Thursday at the bi-weekly briefing on troops activities and operational successes recorded from 16 – 30 June 2022 from the various operational theatres of the 6 geopolitical zones of Nigeria.

Maj-Gen Onyeuko noted that in the South-South zone, the troops of Operation DAKATAR DA BARAWO between 17 and 19 June 2022 carried out anti-illegal bunkering, oil theft and other sundry operations at various parts of Delta and Rivers States.

According to him, as result of these operations, several wooden boats, storage tanks, dugout pits laden with illegal refined Automotive Gas Oil were discovered, adding that the total of nine hundred and thirty thousand (930,000) litres of Automative Gao Oil and one million one hundred and fifty thousand (1,150,000) litres of stolen crude oil were discovered, among others.

He said,”Octopus Grip within the period under review carried out massive anti-illegal bunkering, oil refining and crude oil theft in various parts of the South South Zone. Several storage tanks, dugout pits, oven, boats laden with both crude oil and illegal refined products were discovered by the troops. Within this period a total of Two Million One Hundred and Forty Four Thousand (2,144,000) litres of Automotive Gao Oil, Two Million Six Hundred and Sixty (2,660,000) litres of stolen crude oil, Fourteen Thousand (14,000) liters of Premium Motor Spirit and Fourteen Thousand (14,000) litres of Dual Purpose Kerosine were discovered. Also, 21 criminals involved in this criminal activities were arrested.

“Cumulatively, in the South South Zone in the fight against oil thieves and illegal oil refining a total of Three Million and Seventy Four Thousand (3,074,000) litres of Automotive Gas Oil, Three Million Eight Hundred and Ten Thousand (3,810,000) litres of crude oil, Fourteen Thousand (14,000) litres of Premium Motor Spirit and Fourteen Thousand (14,000) litres of Dual Purpose Kerosine was discovered. Also, 26 oil thieves were arrested, 29  vehicles, 68 wooden boats, 9 speed boats amongst other equipments were impounded.”

In the North West zone, he revealed that troops of Operation Hadarin Daji rescued six  kidnapped civilians and neutralised bandits and several terrorists.

“On 21 Jun 2022 troops of Forward Operation Base Bakura Operation HADARIN DAJI responded to distress call of terrorists activities at Rafin Dankura in Bakura Local Government Area of Zamfara State. Troops engaged the terrorists in a shoot out who were trying to abduct innocent civilians. After the encounter troops were able to rescue the six (6) kidnapped civilians and neutralised 2 bandits in the process. Items recovered includes 2 AK 47, 1x 36 Hand grenade, 2 x Cell phones and the sum two hundred and nineteen thousand (211,915.00). Similarly on 21 June 2022, troops made contacts with marauding terrorists at Maigora in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State and neutralized 2 terrorists in the process.

“The Air Component of Operation HADARIN DAJI carried out air interdiction on 22 June 22 at Kofar Danya Village in Bukkuyum Local Government Area of Zamfara State. Following report about the planned attack on Kofar Danya Village, the air component mobilized to the location and sighted over One Hundred and Fifty (150) terrorists converged under a thick vegetation.

“Accordingly, Nigerian Air Force platforms engaged the terrorists with heavy bombardment which destroyed the terrorists concentration camp. Consequently, credible feedback from the locals around Kofar Danya disclosed that over Eighty Two (82) of the terrorists suffered heavy casualties as many of them were neutralized while other sustained various degree of injuries,” he said.

Maj-Gen Onyeuko disclosed that in the North-Central zone, troops of Operation Whirl Stroke arrested notorious kidnappers and neutralized other criminal elements, including the rescue of scores of abductees.

He said,”Troops of WHIRL STROKE while on patrol at Udei general area in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State impounded a trailer with registration number ABUJAKWL 846 XB along Udei-Makurdi Lafia road fully loaded with cut to size vandalized rail tracks and sleepers. Consequently, all the 7 persons on board the vehicle were arrested. The vehicle and the suspects were handed over to the relevant authority for further action.

“Relatedly, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE arrested one Mr Ardo Manu Abdulrahman Marenewo a suspected gun runner who specialized in leasing of arms to kidnappers and other criminal elements in Taraba State.

“Item recovered from the suspect includes 4 cell phones and the sum of Seventy Four Thousand, Three Hundred and Forty Naira (74,340.00). Also at Zaki Ibiam conducted raid operations at a kidnappers hideout Maraba in Ukyongu Ityuluv Ward of Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State in the process one Mr Ichen Gbaka aged 65 years and his wife Mrs Salomi Gbaka a bandit collaborator were arrested.

“Similarly, on 24 June 2024 troops on clearance patrol arrested Four(4) suspected kidnappers at Igumale Council Ward of Ado Local Government Area Benue State All arrested criminals have been handed over to the Police for further necessary action.

“Furthermore, on 26 June 2022 own troops carried out a raid operation at a bandits hide out at Mbahuwuhe village in Utange council ward in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue state. During the operation 3 bandits were neutralized and a kidnapped civilian Mr Auva Tisa who was on blind fold in the hideout was rescued with injuries and he is presently undergoing treatment. Some items including 1x motorcycle, 2 cell phones among others were recovered before the hideout was brought down.”

He further revealed that troops of Operation Safe Haven arrested 2 suspected gun runners, Messrs Augustine Davou Nyam and Pam Nyam (AKA TRIGGER) during an operation at Zawan and Du Communities.

According to him, on 24 and 25 June 2022 troops recovered one locally fabricated AK47 rifle, one dane gun and 3 cutlasses, and arrested two notorious criminals, Mr Rufai Usman and Abubakar Ahmed were arrested by troops at Ex-ladi general area.

He also said that on 28 June 2022 based on credible intelligence troops conducted clearance operation in conjunction with vigilantes at Kan Duniya Village, Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, Plateau State, neutralized one Mr Safiyanu Bala 25 years notorious bandit and kidnapper.

“Same day troops on fighting patrol in pursuit of 2 suspected kidnappers around Sara High Ground Mangu Local Government Area Plateau State on a motorcycle recovered 2 x AK47 rifles, 101 x rounds of 7.62mm special, 5 x magazines, 1 x motor cycle, 1 x iron digger and 2 x black jackets amongst others.

“Also, on 28 June 2022 in Fanock Village, Jema’a Local Government Area Kaduna State and found a Toyota Corolla car with registration number ABUJA KUJ 452 AZ with no occupant. Troops conducted search operations in the surrounding bush and rescued 3 kidnaped civilians; 2 females and a male.

“Similarly, on the same day troops arrested 10 armed robbery suspects at Kafanchan Town, Jema’a Local Government Area Kaduna State. Items recovered from the criminals include: TV, DVD, gas cookers, Mattrasses, woofer, phones, scissors, among others. The suspected criminals are presently undergoing interrogations,” he said.

Maj-Gen Onyeuko disclosed that in the North-East zone of the country, members of Boko Haram terrorists have continued to surrendered to troops at different locations in the theatre.

He revealed that between 1 – 15 June 2022 a total of 4,770 of them comprising 864 adult males, 1,415 women and 2,490 children.

“Troops of Operation HADIN KAI in the North East Zone have intensified the tempo of their operations. The troops carried out several operational activities in Buduwa, Bama-Pulka road, Tuwe Village, Konduga-Kawuri road, Brema in Damboa Motor Park, Tashangoto, Benishek, Kukaneta all in Borno State.

“These operations led to the rescue of abducted persons, neutralization of terrorists, arrest of terrorists members, recovery of arms and ammunition and other security related items. On 17 and 18 June 2022 troops of 152 Battalion at Buduwa in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State encountered fleeing Boko Haram Terrorist/Islamic State West Africa Province fighters and engaged the terrorists and in the encounter 7 of the terrorists were neutralized and 14 rustled cattle and 3 bicycles were recovered.

“On 21 June 2022 troops arrested some terrorist collaborators and logistics suppliers. Mallam Abacha Usman was arrested at Benshek, Mallam Ibrahim Gira along Damboa – Biu Road and Mallam Ibrahim Gira a notorious terrorist petroleum supplier.

“Consequently, troops neutralized 11 terrorists, arrested 11 and recovered 14 rustled cattle, 2 AK47  rifles, 3 bicycles, 2 locally made guns, 90 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 1 golf 2 car.

“Also, members of Boko Haram terrorists have continued to surrendered to own troops at different locations in the theatre between 1 – 15 June 2022 a total of 4,770 of them comprising 864 adult males, 1,415 women and 2,490 children.

“All surrendered Boko Haram Terrorist/Islamic State West Africa Province members and families were profiled and documented while all arrested and recovered items were handed over to the appropriate authority for further actions,” he said.

Maj-Gen Onyeuko said that in the South-East a combined team of security agencies led by 302 Artillery Regiment carried out Raid operation on proscribed Independent People of Biafra and Eastern Security Network camps at Ukpor in Nnewi South Local Government Area.

According to him, after a fierce gun battle two of the criminals were neutralized, while  several items were recovered from their camp which includes 2 AK47 rifles, 2 pump action rifles, one dane gun, 3 magazines, 5 water gel Improvised Explosive Device, 3 generator sets, one SUV and 2 cell phones.

He added that on 27 June 2022 troops discovered a notorious hide of late Double Lion a notorious terrorist after a shot out one criminal member of the gang was neutralized. Items recovered from the camp include one dane gun, 8 vehicles (different makes). All recovered items are in own custody.

Maj-Gen Onyeuko conveyed the military high command commendations on the efforts of the troops in the various theatres of operation across the Country.

He appreciated the entire populace for the support given to the Armed Forces and security agencies in the conduct of their operations.

He also urged them to continue to provide information on criminals in their locality.

He equally acknowledged the media community for their partnership and cooperation with the military and other security agencies in “our quest to return peace to our dear Country.”