NSCDC debunks report of shielding officer, says complainants are wanted criminals

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC), Akwa Ibom State Command, has described as fallacious, a news report accusing the Corps of shielding its officers, DSC Mike Asibor, who allegedly shot and injured two men in an attempt to arrest them.

The report by the local tabloid alleged that DSC Asibor is on the run, having turned down invitations from the police command for interviews and possible detention.

Addressing a press conference at the Command headquarters in Uyo on Thursday, NSCDC State Public Relations Officer (PRO), DSC Ekerete Friday, flanked by DSC Mike Asibor and other Senior officer of the Corps, said there was no time the command attempted to cover up for Asibor, neither did the police invite him for questioning.

The PRO said rather the two persons claiming to have been shot by Asibor, are wanted by the Corps for their involvement in bunkering activities as well as willful and unlawful destruction of the Corps operational vehicle.

He maintained that Aniefiok John Peter and Marshall John Peter were neither shot by men of NSCDC nor by DSC Mike Asibor, who according to him was not part of the operation on the said date.

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He insisted that the officers were trained to manage the situation and not to open fire unprovoked.

“My men are professionally trained. We don’t expel our armour anyhow because when you go for an operation you sign from the armoury and when you come back you sign off and the armourer will count the ammunition you were given and if it’s not complete, no armourer will accept it back from you. So the thing sounds so ridiculous because our armour is still intact.

“Also, the insinuation by the report that the State Commandant of NSCDC, Comdt Eluwade Eluyemi was not aware of the incident was totally false as he was not only aware of the operations but authorized it and was duly briefed from time to time.

Speaking on what transpired when the oil theft suspects were intercepted, the PRO said the command mobilized its officers to Ikot Ubo, in Nsit Ubium LGA following intelligence that bunkering products were being conveyed in cellophane bags in a Solara vehicle.

He said that in the course of the operation, the driver of the vehicle that conveyed the products, Marshall John Peter, on sighting the NSCDC patrol team in a branded Sienna bus attempted to escape and drove towards the bush part.

The PRO added that unknown to the NSCDC personnel, the driver, Marshall John Peter had put a call to his brother Aniefiok John Peter, who mobilized heavily armed youths to attack the operatives and obstructed them from performing their lawful duties.

He said the attack on the NSCDC personnel by the armed youths 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 the reinforcement team which comprised military, police and NSCDC personnel came to their(NSCDC officials) rescue.

Ekerete said that the armed youths destroyed the NSCDC operational vehicle beyond repairs, noting that the vehicle was towed to Uyo at a later date.

He said the Chairman of the Village Council, Chief Edemekong Edemekong and the youth leader, Mr Inyang Eno had approached the command and negotiated to settle out of court and to repair the damaged vehicle and wondered where the report of shooting the suspects who are still at large emanated from.

While frowning at subjective and one-sided media reports by some persons, Ekerete urged Akwa Ibom people to ignore the malicious reports against the command, aimed at smearing the cordial relationship among the sister security agencies in the state.

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