Controversy trails, arrest, detention of oil pipeline surveillance contractor in Bayelsa

Authorities of the Joint Military Task Force code-named Operation Delta Safe on Sunday triggered controversy over the arrest and detention of a surveillance contractor, Clinton Leadus, over alleged suspicion of complicity in the canalisation of a 14 inches oil pipeline belonging to the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Ekerama community of Okordia clan in Yenagoa local government area of Bayelsa state.

While the family of the detained contractor and some civil rights organizations led by the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO)  are alleging that the claim of alleged complicity and arrest of Clinton Claudia was orchestrated by some persons interested in taking over the oil pipeline surveillance job and use military for intimidation and frame up.

Others questioned why the authorities of the JTF decided to release other suspects arrested and hold unto Clinton without access to his wife, Mrs. Oby and his lawyers in the last 12 days.

The family said his arrest by the JTF after indiscriminately releasing other suspects within 48 hours is suspicious, saying “they should give us proof of life and allow an innocent man access to his family and lawyers, except they are involved in the cover up. We are afraid that the military may have killed him.”

It was gathered that though the JTF has refused to comment on the development, the arrest of Clinton Leadus was ordered by the Commander, Rear Admiral A.O. Suleiman, on alleged mere allegations.

It was gathered that the detained Clinton had few weeks ago, reported to the monitoring unit of the Criminal Investigation Department of the  state police command over the vandalised oil pipeline under his watch and some suspects were arrested. He also notified the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps and was cleared.

Confirming the arrest, Mr. Rex Bribena Ekpi, a legal practitioner from the Magna-Pax Law partners, in a petition filed before the Operation Delta Safe, said the detained Leadus Clinton, was arrested and has not be allowed access to his family.

According to him: “My petition dated 23rd of August, 2018, notified the JTF that the arrest and detention of my client is a violation of his fundamental human rights. And we demanded his release within 24hours.”

The concerned wife, Mrs. Oby Leadus, who also confirmed the development, said though she had visited the Igbogene headquarters of the Operation Delta Safe severally, ” their silence and refusal to allow access to my husband makes it worse and afraid of his safety. This is a case of conspiracy to take over his job as surveillance contractor. They should release my husband or let me see him alive. ”

When contacted on the development, the spokesperson of the ODS, Major Abdulahi, said though he will confirm if the detained surveillance contractor is in their custody and get back to me. At the time of this report, he is yet to get back.

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