Oil Theft: Navy Denies Bribery Allegation, Army Silent

The Nigerian Navy has denied claims that its personnel bribe top officials to secure deployment to the oil rich Niger Delta region.

Apart from blaming the military for the oil theft in the region, the National President of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Festus Osifo, had while appearing before the Senate Committee investigating oil theft, said personnel of the Nigerian Army and Navy deployed to Niger Delta bribed their way through.

These, he stressed, were responsible for the alarming rise of oil theft in the region.

“I can authoritatively inform this committee that men of the Nigerian Army and the Navy pay their superiors to be posted to Niger Delta. Even when the former Commander of the Amphibious Brigade in Port Harcourt was removed, many of the men in the command resisted being posted out due to the ‘lucrative nature’ of their operational areas,” he said.

But speaking with Sunday PUNCH on Friday, the Nigerian Navy spokesperson, Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, described the allegation as false.

He added that to prevent its personnel deployed to the region from conniving with criminals, the service had ensured that none of its personnel stay beyond 18 months.

Ayo-Vaughan said, “Whatever allegation made that our men bribe superiors to be posted to the Niger Delta is a big lie. That has never happened in the Navy. I think people should stop arguing based on the figment of their imagination. The office of the Navy Secretary is made up of honourable officers.”

However, efforts to get the reaction of the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, were not successful as calls to his line were not answered.

He has also yet to respond to a text message sent to him on the matter.

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