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Arrest Of Oil Pipeline Surveillance Contractor Triggers Controversy

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Authorities of the Joint Military Task Force code named Operation Delta Safe (ODS) yesterday triggered controversy over the arrest and detention of a surveillance contractor,Clinton Leadus over alleged suspicion of complicity in the canalisation of a 14 inches oip pipeline belonging to the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Ekerama community of Okordia clan in Yenagoa local government area of the state.

The family of the detained surveillance contractor and some Civil Rights Organisations led by the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), alleged that the claim of alleged complicity and arrest of Leadus was  orchestrated by some persons interested in taking over the oil pipeline surveillance job and use military for intimidation and frame up.

Others questioned why the authorities of the Joint Task Force code named ‘Operation Delta Safe’ decided to release other suspects arrested and hold unto Leadus without access to his wife, Mrs Oby Leadus and his lawyers in the last 12 days.

The family, said his arrest by the military task force after indiscrimately releasing other suspects within 48 hours is suspicious.

“They should give us proof of life and allow an innocent man access to his family and lawyers. Except they are involved in the cover up. We are afraid that the military may kill him”.

LEADERSHIP gathered yesterday that, though the Military Task Force had refused to comment on the development, the arrest of Cl Leadus was ordered by the Commander, Rear Admiral A.O. Suleiman, on alleged mere allegations.

It was gathered that the detained Leadus had few weeks ago, reported to the monitoring unit of the Criminal Investigation Department of the  State Police Command over the vandalised oil pipeline under his watch and some suspects were arrested. He also notified the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps and was cleared.

Confirming the arrest, Mr. Rex Bribena Ekpi, a legal practitioner from the Magna-Pax Law partners, in a petition filed before the ‘Operation Delta Safe’ said the detained Leadus was arrested and have not been allowed access to his family.

The concerned wife, Mrs. Oby Leadus, who also confirmed the development said though she had visited the Igbogene Headquaters of the Operation Delta Safe severally, “ their silence and refusal to allow me access to my husband makes it worse. This is a case of conspiracy to take over his job as surveillance contractor. They should release my husband or let me see him alive”,she pleaded.

When contacted on the development, the spokesperson of the ODS, Major Abdulahi said  he will confirm if the detained surveillance contractor was in their custody and get back.

However, at the time of this report, he was yet to get back to the reporter .



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