Nigeria arrests 7 for supplying explosives to militants

(File, iStock)
(File, iStock)

Lagos - Nigeria has arrested seven suspects for allegedly supplying high-calibre explosives and detonators to militants wreaking havoc on key pipelines and facilities.

National Security Adviser Major-General Mohammed Monguno said on Thursday the explosives were diverted from an explosives-distribution company in the Niger delta to the rebels.

"A detailed audit of the records of explosives magazines and quarries in that region was conducted, which revealed the diversion of about 9 000kg of high explosives and 16 420 pieces of detonators for illegal use," he said.

"The actors, including the storeman of a major explosives distribution company in Nigeria, an accomplice and five security operatives, have been arrested and handed over to the appropriate authorities," he said.

Monguno said an inquiry has been launched.

"Right now, investigations are being conducted and I can assure you that they are deeply culpable and necessary action will be taken on the conclusion of these investigations," he said.

He said any company implicated in the illegal diversion will be sanctioned.

"Any individual or company that operates outside the confines of legitimacy or legality will have itself to blame, and we want to add that the government of the day will not listen to... any company that decides to sabotage national security."

Slashed output

Nigeria has been plagued with devastating attacks by militant group the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) since the start of the year.

Oil majors like Shell, Chevron, Exxon, Eni and state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation have been targeted.

The attacks have slashed output at a time when Nigeria is struggling with low global crude prices which have hammered government revenues, weakening the naira currency and pushing up inflation to 16.5%, an 11-year high.

The rebels want oil majors to leave the Niger delta, blaming them for contributing to widespread poverty and under-development of the region.

They also seek self-determination for the oil-producing states in the delta.

The Avengers, who have spurned a government truce, are believed to have sympathies for Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, a fugitive former militant leader wanted for corruption charges.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When a Covid-19 vaccine for under 16's becomes available, will you be taking your children to get it?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, immediately!
37% - 2380 votes
I'll wait to see how others respond
26% - 1715 votes
No, I don't think they need it
37% - 2386 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.09
(-0.16)
ZAR/GBP
21.02
(-0.23)
ZAR/EUR
18.22
(-0.19)
ZAR/AUD
11.62
(-0.25)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(-0.54)
Gold
1734.50
(+0.02)
Silver
26.67
(+0.05)
Platinum
1186.51
(+0.42)
Brent Crude
64.40
(-2.56)
Palladium
2310.00
(+0.58)
All Share
66138.05
(-1.99)
Top 40
60754.30
(-2.11)
Financial 15
12200.05
(-1.09)
Industrial 25
86144.34
(-0.81)
Resource 10
67459.85
(-4.14)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo