From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa Police Command has disclosed how four of its men were killed at Korokorosei in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.
Contrary to earlier held views that a military gunboat crushed them to death, fresh facts indicated that the Policemen and the Operations Manager of Darlon Oil Surveillance, Odi Lyon, who were returning to base after a surveillance operation were actually killed by the occupants of the gunboat suspected to be oil thieves.
The Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Ben Okolo who spoke on the recovery of the bodies said they were killed by suspected oil vandals.
“The slain officer’s intercepted some vandals and burnt some equipment used for vandalism. They were preparing to return to base when a gunboat with unidentified people, most likely oil vandals, ran into them with the intention to get them capsized. In the process there were seven policemen in the speed boat when the accident happened. Three Swam to safety but four could not make it including a staff of Darlon. All the bodies have been recovered” he said.
Okolo who said this was a bad period for the Police expressed sadness over their death and condoled with the family over the loss of their loved ones.
He however vowed that the Bayelsa Command would fish out the killers stressing that it would work with other security agencies to apprehend all oil thieves.
“I want to use this opportunity to sound a note of warning to all those involved in the vandalism of pipelines. It is not only that they are critical infrastructure, they are the main part of our economy and the activities of these vandals are affecting the economy. The command in collaboration with other stakeholders like the Operation Delta Safe and others providing security for critical infrastructure would ensure all those found to be involved would not be spared,” he said.