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Navy debunks fraud, oil bunkering allegations against CNS

The allegation of fraud and illegal oil bunkering against the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ikechukwu Ogalla has been debunked.

 

Stories of Ogalla’s alleged dirty deal in territorial waters had gone viral online.

The spokesman of the Navy, Rear Admiral Olukayode Ayo-Vaughan, in a statement, said: “The attention of the Naval headquarters has again been drawn to the unfounded, baseless and malicious publication by Peoples Gazette, an online platform reputed for blackmail, character assassination and libel, with the Nigerian Navy, as one of its recurring targets. As it was in June 2023 in a similar malicious article, it alleged the immediate past Navy Chief did not want to handover.

“The People Gazette has again originated a false report saying, “Naval Chief, Emmanuel Ogalla lands in trouble over multibillion naira oil bunkering, contract-splitting fraud.

“The allegations that the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) accepted over $170m in bribes as well as alleged involvement in multi-billion naira contract splitting fraud in the last six months are untenable, baseless and untrue.

“Firstly, there are clear procedural requirements in the arrest, detention and release of any vessel or persons found culpable in the maritime environment.

“It is until these processes are duly concluded that such vessels are released to appropriate prosecuting agencies for further actions. Indeed, all arrested vessels mentioned in the publication that were involved in crude oil theft and illegal bunkering are being investigated and none of such vessels has been released as alleged.

“Secondly, the CNS does not award or oversee oil bunkering contracts; the award of such is the sole prerogative of NNPCL.

“Thirdly, all contracts awarded by the Navy follows due process in line with the laws of the federation. The Nigerian Navy (NN) and her roles are offshoot of the constitutional provisions and duly guided by extant laws and regulations of the land.

“The policing roles of the Navy empowered her to monitor the maritime domain of the nation. These, among others, include arrest of vessels that contravene any of the maritime laws and SPOMO Act 2019.

“The service is aware of the coordinated frantic efforts to blackmail the office and person of the CNS by some disgruntled elements who are feeling the heat of the Nigerian Navy’s renewed vigour to fight crude oil theft and illegalities in the maritime domain as well as those who have in one way of the order shortchanged the Navy before now.”

 

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