The Rivers State Police Command has arrested 11 persons earlier suspected in connection with the fire that gutted the Woji Jetty in Port Harcourt on Thursday.
Residents had blamed the fire outbreak on the activities of oil thieves involved in illegal bunkering around the jetty.
Apart from a vessel and some boats destroyed by the fire, property worth millions of naira belonging to residents of the area also got burnt by the inferno.
The spokesperson for the police in the state, Mr. Nnamdi Omoni, who confirmed the arrest, stated that the suspects were apprehended within 24 hours after the fire incident.
Omoni told SUNDAY PUNCH that the 11 suspects were later released for lack of evidence against them, adding that efforts were ongoing to apprehend the perpetrators of the crime.
He said, “We arrested 11 persons suspected to be behind the fire outbreak at the Woji jetty, but after thorough interrogation, we found out that they were innocent. They have since been released. But the police are making serious efforts to arrest and prosecute the real culprits, who are currently on the run. We will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that they are apprehended.”
The Paramount Ruler of Woji, Eze Emeka Ihunwo, appealed to government to act fast and put an end to the activities of oil thieves in the area.
He noted that the community had cried out two months ago as a result of illegal bunkering along Woji creek, adding that the inferno polluted the community.
The monarch said, “The incident has polluted Woji community and its environs. This is an act of sabotage and government should view it with the seriousness it deserves. I am calling on the state government to seal off those places and prevail on the law enforcement agencies to go after the culprits and bring them to justice for endangering the lives of our people.”
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