By Mary BASSEY, Senior Investigator Correspondent, Lagos/
LAGOS- Managing Director of Florence petroleum and marine services, Dr Henry Okey Obi has accused the Rivers State government, some gullible operatives of the Department of State Service DSS and some persons of conspiring together to stealing his vessel, MT Okiki. The distraught business man therefore, wants the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government and the Inspector General of Police IGP Alkali Usman Baba to wade into the matter and bring perpetrators of this thievery to justice.According to Dr.Obi, the news of the disparenace of his Vessel was broken to him while in far away United Kingdom UK on March 23, 2021, that some armed men led by one Mr Igbiks Tamuno, a Former Commissioner of Environment in River State, came and stole the vessel, which was anchored in a jetty at Okirika River state.Obi, whose company’s name is Florence Petroleum Limited, said the vessel, which is worth in excess of N600 million in the open market, was sold to one Alhaji Usman Ilyasa at N50 million.Read Also >>Ex-EFCC chair, Magu suffers double-jeopardy as PSC yanks off name in list of elevated officersThe businessman also alleged that the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment Rivers State, Dr Nduye Briggs also played a major role as he gave the authorisation for the sale of the vessel on June 26, 2021 after claiming he could not find the owner.The entrepreneur said it all started when the vessel, formally known as Mt Rex Condor until 2008, was bought by his company and rebranded it as Mt Okiki.He said the vessel, which was used for bunkering fuel tanker with Nigerian flag to offshore platforms like Nigerian Agip oil company in Brass, SPDC and Chevron, was involved in a fire incident on May 7, 2013 enroute to supply Marine gasoil to Agip Brass.He said the vessel was later salvaged and anchored in a jetty at Okirika River state where the company pays jetty fees to the community that owns the jetty.Obi said ever since then, the company has being mobilising funds to fix, repair and rebrand the vessel, adding that the company has already finished the electrical installations on the vessel after purchasing marine and armored cables worth over of seventy £70, 000 from England.”We have also done anti-rust priming and painting with zine oxides. We have equally purchased a new brand engine from the Netherlands, which is already delivered to a warehouse in Lagos waiting to be moved to the vessel in Port Harcourt for installation. All this efforts has cost our company over $500, 000,” he explained.Speaking to CrimeWorld magazine online, Obi said that upon getting the information of the illegal possession of his vessel, he informed the company’s operations manager, who wrote a petition on March 25, 2021, to the Inspector General of Police, who approved the investigation on the matter.Obi said as the police invited the people involved in the illegal possession of his vessel, they procured forged documents including abuse of court processes, which aided their illegal act.Read Also >>Command confirms 7 Policemen slaughtered in cross-fire with gunmen, loss of armsHe said a senior magistrate grade level one court judge, Justice O. Amadi, awarded the court order that the conspirators relied upon to persuade the River Statetate police command to discontinue investigation of their evil act. Discrete investigation showed that Magistrate courts in Nigeria lacks jurisdictions over vessel and admiralty matters, as a court order was procured from the magistrate court.Obi said the office of the Attorney General of Rivers State government was equally abused following a letter from the Attorney General of the state, signed by his special Adviser, Mr Chukwuma Eke, directing the deputy commissioner of police, State CID to discontinue investigation of the matter, as his letter exonerated all the police invitees involved in stealing his vessel.He said the letter declared that all the conspirators acted lawfully. According to him, in spite of the letter from the Attorney General, Ilyasa went ahead and carcassed his vessel uninterrupted, alleging that he secured the services of DSS men led by one Mr Bashiru, who sent heavily armed DSS personnel that came threatening to kill anyone that comes close to the vessel.He alleged that with the aid of the DSS men, they move the vessel to a jetty owned by one Mr Abrakassa, who provided materials and wieders that carcased the vessel beyond repair under the protection of this DSS personnel.He said Abrakassa used his white Hilux truck in bringing the DSS men to the site where the vessel was being scrapped on a daily bases. Obi said he instructed his lawyer to write a petition to the DSS headquarter in Port Harcourt in which it was acknowledged as they claimed it was a presidential taxforce that carried out the operation.”I had to cry to the force headquarters in Abuja, who then sent their men to stop this heinous act but by then, they have carcased the vessel beyond repair. When the officers from Abuja got to Port Harcourt, they took over the case from the state command to continue the investigation at the federal level. Alhaji Usman Ilyasa and his Co conspirators were order to stop scrapping my vessel pending the completion of investigation,” he explained.Explaining further, Obi said Ilyasa has continued to openly flaunt his connection with people in power, boasting that he can get away with any crime and impunity he commits.Copyright CrimeWorld: All rights reserved. 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