Security agents attached to border outfit, Operation Swift Response, have been indicted in the release without authorisation of 295 tankers loaded with petroleum products to be smuggled out of the country.
This was made known in a statement by the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, on Saturday.
Adesina said the security operatives were indicted by a panel set up by the President to investigate the allegation.
The panel was headed by the National Security Adviser, retired Major General Babagana Monguno.
Adesina said: “As part of the Federal Government’s effort to ensure food security and improve local production of goods at competitive prices, President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned ‘OPERATION SWIFT RESPONSE’ as a border drill exercise to checkmate the illegal activities of smugglers across our borders.
“The border drill has been hugely successful and has led to the interception and seizure of large quantities of foods, materials, minerals and petroleum resources illegally trafficked across our borders. The President commends the security agencies for a job well done.”
Adesina said it was, however, disheartening for President Buhari when he learnt that 295 smuggled petroleum tankers were released without due authorisation on December 17, 2019 by some of the security personnels.
He said it was as a result of the that Buhari set up a Board of Inquiry headed by Monguno to investigate the crime.
The Board, after its findings, recommended to the President that all officials – civilian or security operatives – found to have connived to undermine government’s efforts should be withdrawn from the border drill and severely sanctioned by their respective organisations.
Adesina added in the statement: “The President has accepted the recommendations and directed the immediate withdrawal and replacement of all those found culpable. He has also directed that their respective organisations should mete immediate appropriate disciplinary actions to them.”