Emmanuel Ukudolo l Monday, October 17, 2022
LAGOS, Nigeria – Chief of Defense Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor acted in breach of the Armed Forces Act, Section 111 (1b) when he ordered his men to set on fire a vessel laden with crude oil stolen from oil pipelines in the Delta State and therefore should be sacked and prosecuted for committing Arson under the Act, the human rights crusader, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN has said.
Falana who was speaking on Channels TV said, that Nigeria should start the quest to end crude oil theft in the country by firing Lucky Irabor who came out publicly to defend his act of criminality when he said in public glare that he is right under the rule of engagement to destroy the vessel, with the crude, which are the raw evidence needed in the successful prosecution of those indicted for siphoning Nigeria’s oil.
He quoted the Armed Forces Act as follows:
Arson: “A person subject to service law under this Act who willfully or maliciously set fire (a) to a public building, dwelling house, an office or any structure whatsoever, moveable or immovable, whether completed or not, occupied or not, or (b) to any vessel, ship, aircraft, railway track or wagon, or vehicle, or thing, or (c) to a mine, or working, or fitting or an appliance of a mine is guilty of arson and liable on conviction by a court martial to imprisonment for life”. Document1 (icrc.org)
Falana describes recent discoveries as great razzmatazz to divert attention from the real issue.
“They are all pretending. The oil theft started 22 years ago and every regime has promised to deal with it”, he said, stressing that Nigerians should ask the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timiprey Sylva to give explanations to Nigerians because OPEC quota is 1.8 million barrels per day and Nigeria is merely able to produced 900,000 barrel.
“The other day, the GMD of NNPC went to the National assembly and said we are losing 600,000 barrels per day, you are saying it now because the whole world has turned Nigeria into a huge joke.
“How can you have a govt in place and this level of oil theft is going on. So the govt has just woken up to discover that there are pipelines that have been producing oil for 9 years and exporting oil illegally from the country, so we have to do something about it”, he said.
Falana explained that to stop oil theft in Nigeria, the govt must identify, expose, name and shame all the companies and public officers that are involved in the oil theft.
He alleged that Shell, Total, Chevron, Agip and some shipping companies are involved on monumental crude oil theft in Nigeria and that he was able to uncover these companies due to his nature of work.
“Few years ago, we told the govt that we did a survey, the crude oil that left Nigeria and discharged in one port, Philadelphia, in the United State is 60.2 million litters valued USD12.7 billion within three years.
“We sent petition to the EFCC , a top officials of the commission said don’t investigate don’t mind them. In frustration, we went to court to sue Shell, Total, Chevron, Agip and some shipping companies that colluded to take our oil out of the country”, he said, adding that there are illegal ports all over the world where Nigeria’s crude oil is discharged.
“If the govt is committed to trace the countries and ports where our oil is taken to we will make the information available. We have evidence of those who took what out of here for 3 years. But govt is not interested. Nobody has denied it that security officials are involved in crude oil theft that is why every security personnel wants to serve in the Niger Delta. I am saying that the Chief of Defence Staff, who came out publicly to defend the destruction must be sacked, we must start from there”, he said.