NNPC boss seeks special courts for crude oil theft, vandalism

 NNPC boss seeks special courts for crude oil theft, vandalism

Mele Kyari, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, has called for the support of the judiciary in tackling the twin challenges of crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism.

He said for the oil and gas industry to achieve its full potential, the judiciary must get the support it deserves as an enabler of national economic and industrial growth.

According to a statement issued by the company’s Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Olufemi Soneye, Kyari stated this at the National Judges Capacity Building Workshop on the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, organised by the National Judicial Institute and INVESTIN 234, on Thursday in Abuja.

In a goodwill message he delivered at the workshop, the NNPCL boss stated that the gains of the PIA have been undermined by crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism.

He then urged the judiciary to consider the creation of a special court to try offenses related to crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism or granting accelerated hearings to such cases.

He said, “The role of the judiciary was critical to the success of the efforts of the various security arrangements put in place by NNPC, the law enforcement agencies, and other stakeholders in the industry.

“In particular, is the recommendation that a special court be created to try those offences as they hinge on our survival as a country and/or for such trials to be conducted under an accelerated hearing process by the issuance of Practice Directions to that effect, with concomitant sanctions to deter would-be offenders.”

He also called on the judiciary to accelerate hearings on criminal cases in their courts, through timely determination of the criminal charges and imposing adequate punishments and sanctions on culprits to serve as deterrence to others.

He said that NNPCL remains committed to collaborating with all relevant stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the PIA, adding that “together, we can ensure that the benefits of our natural resources are maximised for the economic and social development of our country.

Kyari also commended the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, and the organisers of the workshop for extending the invitation to him and the opportunity to deliver a goodwill message at the workshop.

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