The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Akwa Ibom Command alleged to have shot and fatally injured two suspected oil thieves, identified as Aniefiok John Peter and Marshall John Peter, on Thursday, denied the allegation, saying though the suspects are currently on the wanted list of the corps, NSCDC officials have never encountered them in gun duel to warrant such unfortunate incident as reported by a newspaper.
LEADERSHIP gathered a state based newspaper, on December 6, 2023, had published that an officer of NSCDC had, in October 2023, shot and injured the two suspects while operatives of the Command tried to effect their arrest.
But the Command Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr Friday Ekerete, on Thursday, debunked the allegation while briefing newsmen at the NSCDC headquarters in Uyo, the state capital.
Ekerete said that the two persons claimed to have been shot by an officer of NSCDC are wanted by the Corps for their involvement in bunkering activities, willfull and unlawful destruction of Federal Government properties.
He explained that on Oct. 3, the command received intelligence of movement of bunkering products conveyed in cellophane bags in a vehicle.
He said that based on intelligence, the command’s operatives were mobilised to arrest the suspected pipeline vandals and oil thieves, adding that in the course of the operation, the driver of the vehicle that conveyed the bunkering products, one Marshall John Peter, “on sighting the NSCDC patrol team in a branded Sienna bus, attempted to escape and drove towards Ikot Ubo village in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area.”
The PRO added that unknown to the NSCDC personnel, the driver, Marshall, had put a call to his brother, Aniefiok John Peter, who mobilised heavily armed youths to attack the operatives and obstructed them from performing their lawful duties.
He said that the attack on the NSCDC personnel by the armed youth grew out of control and the NSCDC personnel had to make tactical withdrawal for safety, adding that the armed youths blocked all exit routes of the village and held the NSCDC personnel hostage until reinforcement team, which comprised Army, Police and NSCDC personnel, came to their rescue.
He said: “The attention of the Akwa Ibom State Command of NSCDC has been drawn to a publication in a state- based newspaper alleging conspiracy to cover up shooting and injuring of one, Aniefiok John Peter and Marshall John Peter, by DSC Mike Asibor.
“On the 3rd of October, 2023, the Command received intelligence of the movement of bunkering products conveyed in cellophane bags in a vehicle.”
Ekerete said that the armed youths destroyed the NSCDC operational vehicle beyond repairs, adding that the vehicle was towed to Uyo, later for repairs.
He recalled that the Chairman of the Village Council, Chief Edemekong Edemekong, and the youths’ leader, Mr Inyang Eno, had approached the Command and negotiated to repair the damaged vehicle.