Oil theft: Niger Delta, youth councils finger Navy, demand overhaul


The Niger Delta Youth Congress (NDYC), Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide and the Yoruba Youth council has called for a total overhaul of the naval high command.

The youth.group said they are deeply disheartened by the recent revelations of criminal activities within the Navy and concerned about recent reports implicating the Navy in nefarious activities such as crude oil theft, diversion of crude oil, and providing security escorts for crude oil thieves on our waterways.

A statement by Comrade Israel Uwejeyan, national Coordinator NDYC said youth of the region cannot overlook the egregious actions and tarnished reputation that have characterised the Navy’s operations under Vice Admiral Ogalla’s command.

“The NDYC condemns in the strongest terms actions by the Navy that compromise the security and integrity of our waterways. We call on the appropriate authorities to thoroughly investigate these allegations that includes the recent criminal incident that occurred on Friday the 3rd of May 2024 involving Mt Prestigious and MT Montagu and those found culpable must be brought to justice to serve as a deterrent to others and to restore the integrity of the Navy.

“At a time when our country is in desperate need of all available resources to alleviate the suffering of the masses and stabilize the economy, it is incredibly saddening and unacceptable for such activities that not only undermines the efforts to stabilize our economy but also exacerbates the suffering of the Nigerian people to be taking place. 

“We therefore pass a vote of no confidence on the Chief of Naval staff Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla and call for swift and thorough investigations into these criminal activities and those found culpable must be brought to justice to serve as a deterrent to others and to restore the integrity of the Navy”.

“In conclusion, the NDYC vehemently denounces the scandalous activities within the Navy under the leadership of Vice Admiral Ogalla. It is imperative that swift and decisive action is taken to rectify these egregious transgressions. Our collective efforts must be directed towards promoting lawful and sustainable maritime activities for the benefit of all Nigerians.

“In the same vein through a separate statement, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide has called for a thorough overhaul of the Naval high command.”

In another the statement made available to journalists on Monday by Mazi Okwu Nnabuike, the National President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, he said there were disturbing allegations of high calibre oil theft still ongoing in the Niger Delta region. 

According to Okwu, only a few days ago, there were allegations “that on 3rd of May, 2024, MT Montagu went alongside MT Prestigious and discharged 104,4033 BBL of crude. The crude was loaded from MT Byranston stationed at Newcross Facility San Barth OML 24 Marginal oil field. 

“MT Montagu only discharged into MT Prestigious and did not take away any product from her. The ship was arrested by private security and it was released by the naval officials who said they were acting on orders from above, after a series of agitation by stakeholders.

“Even when there was a counter order that the ship be re-arrested, the navy officials allowed another Tank vessel to either evacuate the exhibit or dilute it, in the name of taking samples, which ideally should be taken in a small bottle for lab test. What was the vessel doing there as shown in one of the pictures.”

Okwu, who said it appeared the naval officials were sabotaging the Federal Government’s efforts to ramp up oil production, said the avowed promise by President Tinubu rid the country of corruption must be demonstrated through the immediate overhaul of the naval high command. 

“We stand for zero tolerance for corruption and support for the growth of the economy and total support for the Tinubu-led Federal Government’s anti-corruption fight and based on the allegations we have sighted as narrated, we call for the sack of the Naval hierarchy, starting from the Chief of Naval Staff under whose watch the officials have been unable to tame oil thieves.

“However, we urge Mr President to appoint another Igbo man as his replacement.This is the only way to restore sanity to the oil production chain,” Okwu added.

On their parts, the Yoruba Youth council through it’s National President Comrade Eric Oluwole accused the CNS of sabotaging the President’s efforts against oil theft in view of allegations levelled against him.

The coalition spoke against the backdrop of allegations by another group of Nigerians of large-scale corruption and involvement in procurement fraud and contract splitting, in violation of the Procurement Act against the CNS.