Oil theft: N’Delta stakeholders call for probe of Rear Admiral Babalola


The Niger Delta Stakeholders Forum, NDSF, has called for the probe of former Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Henry Babalola (rtd) for allegedly aiding oil thieves during his years in service.

The forum said “illegal crude mining thrived, expanded and even grew in leaps and bound” under Rear Admiral Babalola’s watch as the Commanding Officer of NNS Delta, Warri Naval Base, and Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy.

NDSF stated this while reacting to the former military chief’s appearance on Arise TV Morning Show of Dr. Reuben Abatti and his team, where he accused the operators of Tantita Security Services Limited, of being “double-faced repented crude oil thieves.”

The Forum, in a statement released by its President, Julius Daukoru on Sunday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, described Babalola’s comment as “reckless,” stressing that he made the TV appearance at the behest of “the criminal cartel of oil robbers and economic saboteurs, who were his collaborators in crude theft while he held sway in the Navy.”

Daukoru maintained that the operators of Tantita Security Services Limited are “people of integrity and impeccable character, unblemished by crime,” while noting that some of them were involved in “the Niger Delta uprising of the late 1990s and early 2000s, purely agitating for the development of the region,” but the late President Musa Yar’Adua saw the need for inclusion and gave them amnesty.

He said Babalola’s allegations were shameful because he has “no proof nor evidence.”

He questioned that, if Babalola was “that sure of his facts, why did he not arrest and parade them before the authority for prosecution when he served as
Commanding Officer and FOC?”

Daukoru said, “it is no secret that he provided cover and protection for local and international criminals on the high sea, while they siphoned oil into ocean going vessels.”

He said Babalola’s multi million dollar properties in Abuja, Lagos, his native Ondo Town in Ondo state, America, United kingdom and offshore havens were bought from “proceeds of illegal crude bunkering, in connivance with criminals,” pointing out that all the earnings from his 35 years of service in the Nigerian Navy can’t buy him an apartment in London or elsewhere.

He said Babalola’s TV appearance was to throw off Tantita Security Services Limited and other security agencies from the trail of the oil thieving syndicate he is in bed with.

Daukoru insisted that the former Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy should be charged for “betraying the nation’s security and sabotage of the economy.”

The statement in full:

“ARISE TV MORNING SHOW APPEARANCE: ADMIRAL HENRY BABALOLA’S MORAL BURDEN, SPOKE FOR CARTEL OF OIL THIEVES

“For anyone to rise to the rank of Rear Admiral of the Nigerian Navy, he must have shown, dedication, discipline and brilliance.

“So, when an officer of that cadre, who is seen as a gentleman in the order of military traditions, speaks only the truth is expected.

“That established tradition was thrown to the dust, when Rear Admiral Henry Babalola rtd, former Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, appeared on the Arise TV Network, on the programme, The Arise Morning Show, of Dr. Reuben Abatti and his formidable team.

“Under barrage of questions, the old sailor became incoherent, contradicting himself on several issues.

“Informed viewers of the programme came off with the impression that he was economical with the truth as he addressed questions. Considering the doubts he showed and his many gaffes, to which even Dr. Abatti diplomatically interjected, when he rounded off the programme.

“The erudite columnist and TV anchor, Dr. Abatti, opined that Tantita may not agree with Babalola’s narrative on many issues.

“That was satisfying enough to hear, and made it needless of us to interrogate the old sailor.

“But keeping quiet would mean our people in the Niger Delta appreciated the roles that Tantita plays, acquiescenced to everything he said.

“There is an old saying that no sculptor can carve a fine image from a rotten piece of wood. And so it is with salvaging the character and integrity of Admiral Henry Babalola.

“Even the most pungent of Arabian perfumes cannot mask the stench of his criminal involvements while in office.

“Certainly, the old soldier made the TV appearance at the behest of the criminal cartel of oil robbers and economic saboteurs, who were his collaborators in crude theft while he held sway in the Navy.

“The barons are the same syndicates that Tantita and other security agencies are on their trail.

“Admiral Babalola was on programme to throw off investigators from the trail of these criminals.

“He did poor a job of it, as he was a sore spot throughout the programme.

“He must have forgotten that while he was the Commanding Officer of NNS Delta, Warri Naval Base, the area he superintendent became the point of convergence for crude oil thieves and beehive for illegal crude bunkering.

“On the programme, he pontificated as an uninvolved bystander, while the illegal crude mining thrived, expanded and even grew in leaps and bound in the areas under his command as Commanding Officer of NNS, Delta.

“It is no secret that he provided cover and protection for local and international criminals on the high sea, while they siphoned oil into ocean going vessels.

“He was infact, the problem until his retirement.

“Admiral Babalola in the same breathe pointed accusing fingers at the operators of Tantita Security Services Limited, as double-faced repented crude oil thieves. It was a reckless comment to make. If he was that sure of his facts, why did he not arrest and parade them before the authority for prosecution when he served as
Commanding Officer and FOC?

“He should hide his head in shame for making allegations he has no proof nor evidence.

“The operators of Tantita Security Services Limited are people of integrity and impeccable character, unblemished by crime.

“Some of them were involved in the Niger Delta uprising of the late 1990s and early 2000s, purely agitating for the development of the region.

“The late President Musa Yar’Adua saw the need for inclusion and gave them amnesty. It is still in place till date.

“Alluding to that as evidence of wrong doing, is an attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of gullible people. It is a figment of the imagination of the Admiral, which should be ignored.

“Considering his rank and the years Admiral Babalola spent attending courses, both home and abroad, he exhibited no intellectual depth. He was shallow and flat, and merely blabbered throughout the programme.

“Those who sponsored his TV appearance, his partners in crime and notorious oil barons must be very disappointed in his poor performance.

“As stated in a paragraph above, Rear Admiral Babalola blazed the trail in oil bunkering in the Niger Delta, others followed later.

“Today, he is filthy rich from the proceeds of oil theft.

“He should explain how he acquired all the choice properties and numerous assets he owns in Abuja, Lagos, his native Ondo Town in Ondo state. He also bought multi million dollar properties in America, United kingdom and offshore havens.

“With his rank as Rear a Admiral, all the earnings from his 35 years of service in the Nigerian Navy can’t buy him an apartment in London or elsewhere.

“Admiral Babalola bought all the properties from proceeds of illegal crude bunkering in connivance with criminals.

“He should be charged for betraying the nation’s security and sabotage of the economy.

“Admiral Babalola should quietly go home to enjoy his loot in retirement than make a fool of himself on public television.

“He was all platitudes, and couldn’t give good reason to defend his many years of poor leadership and inability to perform while in the Navy.

“His complaints of the Navy being under equipped for its role is mere balderdash.

“The rightful place for him is a correctional centre and not on TV screen.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *