By Bukar Bolori
Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has set an investigative/disciplinary panel on the case of alleged extortion of its men in River State.
A statement on Monday by the spokesman of the Corps, Olusola Odumosu read: “Following the viral CCTV captured video of exploitation subsequent to a publication by an online media about some personnel of the Corps allegedly exposed while extorting money from an Independent Petroleum Marketer in Rivers State, the Corps has set up an Investigative/Disciplinary Panel to deal with the situation.”
The statement quoted the NSCDC Commandant General, Dr Ahmed Audi while reacting to the viral video, to have said that “this is going to be the last time any member of this service will be involved in such heinous crime, enough is enough.
“I will make scapegoats out of these bad elements within the system to serve as deterrent to others like them, if what is seen in that video is correct.”
The apparently furious CG, added that: “The Corps is out leading the fight against oil theft and illegal oil bunkering and some bad eggs within the service are out there sabotaging our efforts, giving us bad name and image.”
He said: “Only last week, I read the ‘Riot Act’ to all heads of Anti-vandal unit in the Niger Delta region, this time around, i will make sure that anyone dragging our name in the mud is shown the way out.
“I have given the Investigative committee only one week to authenticate the video and submit their report which we shall act on with immediate alacrity.
”Audi reiterated that, it is unfortunate and highly disgraceful for any officer of the law who ought to be custodian of Integrity, truth and justice to be seen negotiating and extorting money from the citizens they are meant to protect.
He further explained that, the Corps will adopt its internal disciplinary mechanism to address the situation and bring the perpetrators to book.
He said: “The Corps has in place internal disciplinary mechanism that usually regulate the conducts of personnel and anybody found wanting will be dealt with accordingly.
“The terms of reference of the Investigative panel is to conduct a forensic examination of the trending video without prejudice, with a view to identifying those captured by the camera.
“They are also to recommend commensurate punitive action for the Infringement committed in accordance with Public Service Rules.
“The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps will never tolerate any acts or conducts capable of jeopardizing public interest as well as its mandate of safeguarding all Critical National Assets and Infrastructure in the country.
“Any officer caught in violation of the Corps Standard Operating Procedure and Code of Ethics would be decisively dealt with irrespective of rank, status or nativity”, the CG assured.
He reaffirm the Corps’ commitment to salvaging the nation from economic saboteurs carting away the nation’s crude oil and other Petroleum products.
“Only few days ago we commissioned 8 gunboats in Portharcourt, Rivers State, to wage a full scale war against oil theft and illegal bunkering and we will not be deterred from protecting our commonwealth and improving government’s revenue in this sector”, he said.