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The main coordinator of attacks on the NNPC, and Chevron oil and gas installations in Delta State was paraded in Warri, yesterday, by the Navy.
Hooded Michael John, suspected member of a gang that killed three soldiers at Jones Creek three months ago and recent killing of a soldier, police and a boat rider at Batan, Warri South West LGA, Delta State being paraded at the Naval base in Warri, yesterday.
His arrest came barely 24 hours after the Federal Government extended the olive branch to militants in the Niger Delta, who had been blowing up oil and gas pipelines in the region through a two-week ceasefire to create room for dialogue.
Parading the suspected coordinator of attacks on NNPC and Chevron facilities at the Naval base in Warri, yesterday, Commander of Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Delta, Commodore Ramie Mohammed, said he was arrested in connection with the attack on SPDC 48-inch export pipeline onshore Forcados.
The commander, who did not want to be drawn into comments on whether the suspect was a member of Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, or not, said what was of interest to him was that the suspect carried out the attacks. He said: “The Nigerian Navy, in collaboration with other security agencies, has arrested the main coordinator of attacks on NNPC and Chevron oil and gas facilities we have witnessed since May 4 with the attack on Okan Valve Platform offshore Escravos.
This arrest came after several weeks of trailing and arrest of several of his foot soldiers. “This suspect is also deeply involved in pipeline vandalism to steal crude oil. He steals crude from about 35 abandoned oil well heads and pipelines in Okpoko and Obodo, Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State. Navy believes with his arrest, attacks on Chevron/NNPC oil and gas facilities will abate.”
Also paraded by the NNS Delta was a suspect arrested on May 29 for the alleged role he played in a gang’s killing of a soldier, police officer and one other victim. Both the suspected killer of security operatives and the alleged mastermind of the NNPC and Chevron oil and assets attacks were hooded.
Commodore Mohammed said the identity of the suspects were shielded so as not to compromise ongoing investigations that would lead to arrest of his collaborators. When interrogated, the suspected killer of a policeman and soldier, arrested in Sapele,said that his friend, identified as “Oyile” was the mastermind.
However, the suspect arrested for co-ordinating blow-up of pipelines, told reporters he and his fronts bought stolen crude from one William, who allegedly siphoned products from abandoned wells in the Delta waterways.