The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Ziakede Akpobolokemi, said at the weekend that the agency had arrested a number of vessels used for oil theft and bunkering which, he said, had been traced to some influential Nigerians.
Akpobolokemi, who stated this in a media interaction in Abuja, said that the organisation would soon reveal the identities of the affected Nigerians once investigations are completed.
According to him, NIMASA would not cover up any of the cases, adding, however, that Nigerians should be wary of any attempt to paint the issue in ethnic colourations by the suspects once they are named.
He said: ‚ÄúNigerians should be ready to tell them to leave the issue of ethnicity aside.
The NIMASA boss further alerted that while some influential Nigerians were under close watch concerning crude theft, others are already in the net for sponsoring and financing piracy, oil theft and bunkering.
‚ÄúThose small boys are agents for some top Nigerians. We are on their trail. No matter how highly placed you are, if you break the maritime law, if you sponsor oil theft, we will go after you,‚Äù Akpobolokemi said.