The Nigerian Navy has said allegations against Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla are untenable, baseless, and untrue
The Peoples Gazette had accused Ogalla of facilitating an unorganized bunkering of Nigerian crude and a multimillion-naira contract-splitting fraud.
Also releasing several oil tankers impounded for transporting stolen crude oil off Nigerian shores after receiving kickbacks in millions of dollars.
The Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, had said that the allegations would be investigated.
However, the Nigerian Navy, in a statement by the Director of Information, Rear Admiral Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, denied the allegations against Ogalla.
He said the arrested vessels mentioned in the report were involved in crude oil theft and illegal oil bunkering, noting that they have not been released as alleged.
Ayo-Vaughan also said it was not within the power of the Chief of Naval Staff to award oil bunkering contracts, added that only the NNPCL had such power.
He accused some unarmed persons described as disgruntled elements who he said were feeling the heat of the several operations by the Navy of making efforts to blackmail Ogalla.
Ayo-Vaughan said;”The Nigerian Navy recently launched OPERATION DELTA SANITY, which provided for a more robust roadmap towards the fight against crude oil theft and other forms of illegalities in the Nation’s maritime environment.
“The NN is committed to ensuring legitimate businesses in the maritime domain thrive seamlessly and to confronting criminals who must be brought to justice for Nigeria’s economy to rebound.
“The security and economy of the Nation are greater than any group of persons that think they must continue to drain the country.
“Members of the public are therefore enjoined to discountenance completely the malicious publication that emanated from Peoples Gazette.
“It is totally untrue and completely baseless being a figment of the shallow imagination of the writer, his publishers, and their unpatriotic sponsors”.