23rd January, 2023
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has explained why it arrested Captain Warredi Enisuoh, the Head of Operations of Tantita Security Services Limited, a company owned by ex-Nigeria militant Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo that has been at the forefront in the fight againt oil theft in the Niger Delta.
The anti-graft agency made the clarification in a statement it issued on Monday in response to alarm raised by Tantita over the arrest of Enisuoh at the weekend.
The company had in a statement alleged that the EFCC has been detaining Enisouh, who, according to it, is the Director of Operation and Technical Services of Tantita, since 19 January 2023 at its Lagos office.
Tantita alleged that Enisouh had gone to honour an invitation by the EFCC before he was detained and all efforts to get him out have proved abortive.
The company added that the EFCC invitation came in the middle of an ongoing operation to uncover one of the biggest oil stealing cartels in the country.
It alleged in the statement that efforts are being made to strangulate its operations despite the gains to the country in terms of improved oil production.
“Tantita has been in the news for the amazing progress beingmade in returning Nigeria to pride of place as the leading oil producer in Africa. However, as we speak, efforts are being made to strangulate Tantita operations.
But in its reaction in a statement it issued on Monday, the EFCC denied claim that the arrest of the Tantita Director was aimed at frustrating activities of the company.
In a statement by Wilson Uwujaren, its spokesperson, the EFCC said Enisuoh was arrested over alleged case of Money Laundering involving the criminal dissipation of funds in an account held by him, but which is the subject of its longstanding investigation.
“As an official of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Enisuoh is being prosecuted alongside former Director General of the Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi for fraudulent conversion of various sums of money belonging to the Agency.
“In the course of that investigation, over $420,000, suspected proceeds of illicit activities, was traced to an account held by him.
“The Commission had obtained a Court Order to freeze the account and preserve the funds, but Enisuoh in 2018 secured an Order of the Court of Appeal to lift the freeze Order.
“However, the Court of Appeal did not find in favour of Captain Warredi Enisouh that the funds in issue were not proceeds of unlawful activities.
The Commission received intelligence that Enisuoh dissipated the funds reasonably suspected to be the proceeds of his unlawful activities within three days in May 2018.
“He was on the Commission’s watch-list until January 19, 2023, when he was taken into custody. A remand notice was duly filed to keep him, pending the conclusion of the investigation.
“He is cooperating with the investigation and has already returned $100,000 to the account.
“The Commission is a critical stakeholder in the fight against oil theft and has demonstrated this by successfully prosecuting perpetrators of such heinous crime. It will therefore not take any step to frustrate the determination of the government to fight oil theft and sundry offences.”