By Davies Iheamnachor
PORT HAR-COURT—A community leader in Okirika, Rivers State, Mr. Dagogo Gilbert, has denied serving as a middle man who receives bribes for top military officers in the state to aid oil thieves and illegal oil refining in the area.
Hundreds of youths from the Niger Delta region had stormed Abuja last week, protesting alleged involvement of some military officials in the Niger Delta, especially the Commander of Delta Safe, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman and other highly placed individuals in the area including, Mr. Gilbert.
The protesters in their placards mentioned Gilbert as the middle man who receives bribes for military men to enable oil thieves carry on with their illegal activities in the region.
Suleiman had also denied the allegation, saying that some oil firms in the region were uncomfortable with him because they found him uncompromising in his job.
In a statement yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Gilbert said that the allegation by the youths, who made the claims under the aegis of Bille Youth Vanguard, was false, adding that the youths were faceless.
He said: “As a respectable law abiding indigene of Okirika Local Government Area of Rivers State, with humble background and income being a civil servant, I have not been and will never be involved in illegal oil bunkering or illegal oil activities in my whole life.
“Therefore, I do not know anything about the false stories peddled in the media against my person aimed at smearing my name and to ruin my reputation built over years of hard work and dedication.”