•••Demands release of detained operatives

By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited has cleared the air over the incident at the Lekki area of Lagos involving its operatives and some Nigerian Navy personnel on August 29.

The firm explained that its personnel who were on the trail of the suspected oil thieves were instead arrested and detained for carrying out their lawful duty.

“The continued detention by the Nigerian Navy of these five brave, selfless
Nigerians who risked their lives on the high seas to protect our commonwealth is a disservice to our nation,” TSL said in a statement on Saturday.

The Nigerian Navy had claimed that the Tantita patrol team was arrested following the realisation that the “four individuals are part of a movement of a large wooden boat laden with 11 x 1000L Geepee tanks with product suspected to be stolen crude oil.”

But narrating what transpired, TSL, which has been working to curb the large-scale theft of crude oil in the country, explained that its eight-man patrol team operating in Ondo State received credible intelligence on Monday that a motorised wooden boat was illegally loading crude oil from an Offshore Oil Well Jacket operated by Cavendish Nigeria Limited, where the MT TURA II was caught stealing crude oil a few months ago.

An advance team, it said, was dispatched to find the wooden boat while a back-up team of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps was assembled to follow through on the lead.

The TSL in its statement backed with a video of the incident, further said that the advance team with the help of local fishermen was able to determine that the motorised wooden boat was heading in the direction of Lagos and gave hot pursuit.

It stated, “Upon noticing the approaching Tantita teams, the crew of the motorised wooden boat abandoned the wooden boat for their speed boat.

“One team of Tantita and NSCDC personnel boarded the wooden boat to secure the evidence while another team gave hot pursuit.

“There is video evidence of the Tantita team together with NSCDC personnel.There is also evidence of the Tantita and GSA team giving chase to the crew of the boat.”

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