Two riot policemen have been detained by the Department of the State Security (DSS) over their alleged involvement in the abduction of three expatriate construction workers at Emakalakala, a neighbouring community to President Goodluck Jonathan’s Otuoke in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
This is coming on the heels of the arrest of five persons over their alleged involvement in the multiple attacks on oil pipelines and oil well belonging to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company in Okoroma community of Nembe Local Government area of the state.
The expatriate workers, Muntaz Ahmad (Pakistan), Ghatar Abdul (Pakistan) and Sriri Raola (Pakistan), were working for Elmerit company when they were abducted at gunpoint.
The riot policemen were assigned to serve as guards to the men when the unidentified gunmen invaded the camp of the expatriate workers and abducted them.
The role of the said policemen became suspicious when investigations revealed that they did not fire a shot during the 45-minute invasion by the kidnappers.
The abductors, numbering six, were said to have entered the quiet community through the river and left by the same route with their victims. They were reported to have shot into the air to scare indigenes of the community who were caught unawares.
Meanwhile, the attack on the Agip facilities followed a dispute over a security surveillance contract awarded to some indigenes of the community by the oil company.
The arrested youths had, a forthright ago, worn masks and attacked the Oil well known as Oil Well 7 and the Obama Oil Field pipeline connecting the field to the Brass Oil Terminal and Tank Farm of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) with improvised explosives suspected to be dynamite.
The suspects, identified as indigenes of the Okoroma community, have been released by the security agents, a development that sparked off protests from the elders and youths of the community. They accused security agents of promoting lawlessness and possible oil crimes in the area.
The protesting indigenes of the Okoroma clan, in a letter written by their counsel and Port Harcourt-based legal practitioner, Mr. Nnamdi Ugwu, argued that though the security agencies led by operatives of the DSS and the JTF arrested those fingered in the bombing of Agip Oil well, the decision to release the suspects and failure to prosecute them had sent a wrong signal to other youths in the area who had threatened to heighten cases of oil well attacks and other violent crimes against oil multinationals in the area.
The letter, which was sent to the state governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson, and made available to newsmen through email, alleged that the five suspects were released from the custody of the security agency in suspicious circumstances.
According to the Okoroma community, the suspects had boasted during their arrest that their incarceration was temporal as they were allegedly working for the office of the state’s Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral John Jonah(rtd)”.
The heinous act was committed by the suspects with the connivance of their political god fathers, which is worrisome, it said.
“The letter, dated 6th of November, 2014 and written by the Nembe Council Chairman, Eminah Beneth to the Deputy Governor, on the same issue accused Agip company of divide and rule.
“The manner in which the arrest and release of suspects was done is a direct catalyst to encouraging and enticing other people to resort to commission of crimes to drive home their demands. It is dangerous and foreign to our clan.
“That shutting down of Obama Well 7 and the vandalization of Obama/Brass pipelines are criminal offences punishable by the laws of the Federation and that the use of explosive devices by any unauthorized person or persons is a criminal offence punishable by the laws of Nigeria. That it is a criminal offence to watch the suspects who perpetuated the above heinous crime to walk away unpunished because they have political god fathers.”
The Okoroma Community however called on the security agencies to conduct a thorough investigation and the suspects re-arrested and prosecuted.