From Ben Dunno, Warri
Two operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), attached to the Koko, the operational base of Warri North Local Government Area, Delta State, were shot dead at a close range by some unknown gunmen, suspected to be members of oil thieves cartel and their rifles carted away.
Daily Sun investigations revealed that one of the deceased operatives was the commander of a special unit attached to one of the notorious jetty used by the members of the cartel that specialise in crude oil theft operating within the Koko axis
It was learnt that the unit recently deployed to the area had accosted members of the illegal bunkering cartel while ferrying large quantities of stolen crude in barges and threatened to arrest both the crew onboard and the stolen crude in their possession.
According to sources close to the scene of the incident which occurred penultimate Monday, the cartel was said to have made an overture to NSCDC operatives and the sum of N1 million was agreed upon for the security men to look the other way to enable both the crew and stolen crude have unhindered access to its destination.
‘Trouble however started when the Civil Defence operative led by its unit Commander, insisted they would only allow the crew an escape route but they would still go ahead to impound the barge conveying the stolen crude after they had collected the agreed sum offered,’ sources hinted.
‘Several appeals made by the members of the cartel to the operatives to allow both the crew and the barges to go at the same time, fell on deaf ears, as the unit Commander remained adamant, stating that the barge would be taken to the Command Headquarters in Asaba as evidence.
‘This was the point members of the cartel who had run out of patience with the operatives, shot at them at a close range and made away with their rifles, money and the stolen crude,’ sources stated.
The incident was said to have infuriated the Nigerian Army unit in Koko, who immediately commenced a manhunt for the members of the cartel responsible for the act.