|It appears that on June 1, 2018, hundreds of youths connected to the Niger Delta region organised a World Press Conference at Abuja within which one of the central themes was to draw attention to the activities of Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman in his role as the OPDS|
|LAGOS, Nigeria, — Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company strongly disputes the claim made by the Commander of Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman on or about June 1, 2018 citing the company and its Chief Executive Benedict Peters as the masterminds behind the serious allegations levied against him by the people of the oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria. To put the factual matrix in perspective, it appears that on June 1, 2018, hundreds of youths connected to the Niger Delta region organised a World Press Conference at Abuja within which one of the central themes was to draw attention to the activities of Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman in his role as the OPDS, also known as Joint Task Force (JTF), Supremo. OPDS, which comprises of members of the Nigerian Navy, Army, Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and Custom Service personnel was designed to ensure the safety of lives and property in the Niger-Delta but with the continued unabated illegal oil bunkering activities which has translated into the loss of lives and attendant revenue to the tune of billions of dollars, allegations were made against him, accusing him of complicity in the growing menace of illegal bunkering and oil thefts and calling for his immediate removal from office.
For the avoidance of any doubt whatsoever, any attempt by the embattled Admiral Suleiman to suggest Aiteo’s (www.AiteoGroup.com) involvement in the activities of those who undertook the event or indeed any other related activity is a distraction designed to fail. It does not, in any way, detract from the weight of allegations with which Admiral Suleiman has been publicly confronted nor the overwhelming need for him to engage in a process that will allow him to deal with the substantive issues that flow from that event.
Aiteo has enormous responsibilities in the oil industry requiring focused intensity and attention in the execution of our quite considerable commercial obligations. With a daily production in the region of 90,000kbp, the NNPC/Aiteo JV is now directly responsible for producing 5% of the country’s daily Oil production. In doing so, the group employs over several hundred direct staff and thousands of others indirectly through contractors and service suppliers. This sense of responsibility is the bedrock on which our commercial and other activities are founded. Sadly, these oil thefts have meant that we are one of the biggest victims of oil theft in the country.
As the opportunity regretfully presents, we consider it apt to clarify a number of “matters arising” from the Admiral’s unfortunate comments:
As a socially responsible organisation, Aiteo understands that the community bears the brunt of illegal bunkering and refining activities. Indigenes of these communities remain morally and legally free to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed civic rights to peacefully protest against ills in their community till their voices are heard and desired remedial or corrective actions are taken.
Aiteo utilizes this opportunity to reiterate its long-standing commitment to due process and international best practices in the discharge of every aspect of its statutory mandate.