Their specific number is unstated in a statement by Presidential spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, but security operatives who caused 295 tankers laden with smuggled petroleum products to be released to their owners are to face disciplinary actions following a presidential approval.
According to Adesina in a statement, the unnamed officials were indicted after investigations by the Office of the National Security Adviser.
The Presidency’s full statement reads: “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.
“He, however, finds it disheartening to learn that 295 smuggled petroleum tankers were released without due authorisation on 17th December, 2019 by some security officials charged with the responsibility of protecting our borders.
“Sequel to this act, the National Security Adviser (NSA) was directed to set up a Board of Inquiry to investigate the crime, and it was 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that all officials (civilian or security operatives) found to have connived to undermine government’s efforts should be withdrawn from the border drill and severely sanctioned by their respective organisations.
“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”.