- Category: SPECIAL REPORTS
- Monday, 17 September 2012
- By Elombah.com
A fresh twist have been added to the recent arrest saga of former Minister of Interior and the Chairman of Integrated Oil and Gas Limited, Captain Emmanuel Ihenacho as he insisted he was rather abducted armed forces personnel attached to the Global West Vessel Specialist Limited (GWVSL) owned by the ex-militant Chief
Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo.
Elombah.com reported on Saturday that Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho was arrested on Friday by officials of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) over his involvement in the hijack of a vessel, M.T. Grace, laden with suspected stolen petroleum products.
Disclosing this to newsmen in Lagos on Friday, Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi said Iheanacho was arrested when the search for the sponsors of these pirates led to the tracing of the stolen products to integrated oil and gas tank farm.
But in a chat with journalists yesterday, Ihenacho said that on Thursday, September 13, 2012, the management of the company was shocked over the vicious invasion of their tank farm facility at Ibafon by a group of uniformed armed men, numbering about 30 and purporting themselves to be acting on the orders and instructions of the Director General of NIMASA and the Managing Director of a private company, GWVSL.
In the course of the invasion, he stated that the intruders ransacked the entire tank farm complex, arresting and violently manhandling the workers at the complex, laying them flat on the floor and seizing their hand sets after which four members of staff of the company were abducted and taken to NIMASA for interrogation and have since been transferred to the SSS office at Shangisha where they are currently held in-communicado.
According to him, “On September 14, 2012, I was abducted and taken to NIMASA. This is because if you say I was arrested, there are some people who have duty and the power to arrest. But if you don’t have the duty and the power and you have some gun, you can abduct somebody.
“I was kept for several hours at NIMASA before the matter was subsequently transferred to the Lagos State Command of the State Security Service (SSS). In all of these, no formal notification as to the course of the attack on our tank farm or the siege on our businesses was ever made known to us.
“ I want the Federal Government and the national security establishment to quickly review the propriety of the unprecedented development of an armed unit within the NIMASA organisation. The armed unit at NIMASA could very well be said to be a private army, which is now being used for personal political purposes other than for Nigerian maritime capacity development.
“As at today (yesterday), the people that invaded our tank farm have actually taken over the place and have not vacated it, notwithstanding the fact that all the equipment, personal properties of people and other facilities cannot be accounted for now.
“We thought that if the Police or SSS, government agencies and others wanted to take over a place, they will do that with people who are working there to maintain the status quo.
The former minister said that although Integrated Oil and Gas stores and dispenses various grades of petroleum products on its account and on the account of other third parties, all products stored are required to be covered by proper inward clearance documents from the Navy, Department of Petroleum Resources, NIMASA, Nigerian Ports Authority, among others.
He claimed that the products currently stored in the company’s tank farm were fully served by the availability of clearance documentation, including those issued by NIMASA.
Tompolo [pictured] is a prominent Niger Delta rebel leader, notably involved in attacks against oil and gas infrastructures in the oil rich Niger Delta region, but today, he is not only a free man, he is also a darling of the very federal government that only three years ago, considered him an arch enemy.
His company, Global West Specialist Agency was awarded a huge contract, with the influence of President Goodluck Jonathan, to supply 20 patrol vessels for the use of Nigeria’s military authorities in securing the country’s coastline.
Government Ekpemupolo a.k.a. Tompolo, the former militant has now risen to become a strong ally of the federal government, and a billionaire businessman.