Four persons suspected to be staff of Tantita Security Services Limited (TSSL) have been arrested by the Nigerian Navy in Lagos for attempted oil theft.
LEADERSHIP reports that Tantita is a private security company owned by Government Ekpemupolo, popularly called Tompolo, an ex-Niger Delta agitator, who recently got a contract from the Federal Government to protect oil pipelines.
However, a press statement by the Commander, NNS BEECROFT of the Nigeria Navy, Commodore Kolawole Olumide Oguntuga, said Naval officers stationed at Forward Operation Base (FOB) Lekki, in the early hours of August 29, 2023, foiled an attempted oil theft operation on the waterways near Itolu community, Lekki, Lagos State.
Oguntuga, in the statement, said that the Naval officers responded to a distress call from youths, who reported gunshots in the community.
“Reviewing the information, Naval patrol teams immediately launched a response operation. Upon arrival at the scene, the Naval team met 4 individuals dressed in black polo shirts with TANTITA inscribed on the back, trying to recover a dismantled outboard engine from a local. The team recovered the engine and apprehended the 4 Tantita Employees.
“It was after this arrest that the patrol team realized that the 4 individuals are part of a movement of a large wooden boat laden with 11 x 1000L Geepee tanks with product suspected to be stolen crude oil.
“The arrested individuals have been identified as Asonja Goddey (28), Obajimi Oluwaseyifunmi (38), Awoowo Aribo (35), and Oluwadaisi Balogun (40), all hailing from Igbokoda in Ondo State. The owner of the boat they were trying to forcibly employ, Ishola Ojubuyi (42), was also taken into custody,” he stated.
The statement further disclosed that the Navy has initiated an investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident, particularly the possession of firearms used in the community.
It also stated that the investigation would include how the product came from Ondo State to Lagos State as well as an attempt to steal a boat engine from the locals.
“One Mr Owoyele Omotuyi who was identified as a Tantita staff, came to secure release of the 4 suspects claiming they are Tantita employees. All suspects along with the confiscated exhibits will be handed over to appropriate agencies for further necessary action and prosecution.
“The Nigerian Navy under the watch of Vice Admiral EI Ogalla, Chief of the Naval Staff, remains resolute towards ensuring the maritime environment is conducive for legitimate businesses necessary for economic prosperity of the nation,” he stated.