The Nigerian Navy has debunked reports that the Chief of the Naval Staff, CNS, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, accepted over $170 million in bribes and was involved in multi-billion naira contract splitting fraud in the last six months.

Naval spokesman, Rear Admiral AO Ayo-Vaughan, in a statement on Saturday, described the publications as untenable, baseless and untrue.

He claimed that the reports were sponsored by oil thieves and disgruntled elements.

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The statement said the Navy is aware of the coordinated frantic efforts to blackmail the office and person of the CNS by some disgruntled elements who are feeling the heat of the Navy’s renewed vigour to fight crude oil theft and illegalities in the maritime domain .

It added that the Naval authorities are also aware of the activities of those who have, in one way or the other, short changed the Navy before now.

The statement further noted that the continuous rejuvenated operations towards curbing oil theft has given the oil thieves sleepless nights hence the decision to engage in the malicious publications.

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“Indeed, the Nigerian Navy (NN) is aware of these antics as it is expected considering the current resolve of the NN to engage oil thieves head on. The cartel hitherto believed no individual could confront its ranks.

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“Fortunately, the recent achievements of the NN in this regard have put them on their heels hence the resort to cheap blackmail,” the statement said.

According to the statement, the Nigerian Navy will continue to ensure that legitimate businesses in the maritime domain thrive seamlessly, adding that distractions will in no way affect its resolve to confront criminals who must be brought to justice for Nigeria’s economy to rebound.

“The security and economy of the Nation is greater than any group of persons that think they must continue to drain the country.”