A suspected oil thief, Ikechukwu Onyenze, who is currently in the custody of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Rivers State Command, has begged to be released so that he can attend his traditional wedding.
Onyenze, who spoke with newsmen in Port Harcourt, lamented that his absence at his marriage ceremony would negatively affect his person.
He added that he would appreciate a temporary freedom by the civil defence.
The suspect, who is a 35-year-old heavy duty vehicle mechanic from Abia State, told The Punch on Friday that the marriage ceremony was to hold on Saturday (today).
Denying that he was into oil theft, Onyenze said he was inside a petrol tanker before being arrested because the driver called him to come and carry out some repairs on the vehicle.
“It was a friend of mine who was driving the tanker. He called me that he had problem with the Civil Defence. He also said the vehicle was having break problem. So, it was when I came to help him that I was arrested. That’s how I know about this truck.
“As of the time of arrest, we were inside the truck, including the driver of the truck. I am a heavy duty mechanic. During the time of the arrest, the driver and the two conductors escaped.
“I am about to marry. My traditional marriage is on Saturday; this coming Saturday. My shop is at Obigbo; by Health Centre in Iriebe. If they (NSCDC) can permit me to go and be part of my marriage ceremony, I will be happy.
“I have left everything in the hand of God; He knows the best. I feel so bad that I will not be able to be present at my marriage ceremony. My advice to people is to avoid this kind of situation,” Onyenze said.
Speaking on the arrest of the suspect, the Rivers State Commandant of the NSCDC, Mohammed Haruna, described him as a notorious oil bunkerer, who once escaped from operatives of the corps.
Haruna also dismissed Onyenze’s plea to be freed so that he (suspect) would be able to attend his traditional marriage ceremony as a ploy to whip up sympathy.
“The man had been arrested before and he escaped. He is a notorious oil bunkerer. We were able to arrest him again. He escaped and went back to the crime of oil theft, but we have got hold of him. This time around, he will face the law.
“On his claim about marriage, it is false. We have not been able to verify his claim. He is just trying to whip up sympathy. Even the address he gave as a place he operates a shop is false. Our investigation is still ongoing and he would be charged to court at the end of investigation,” the state NSCDC commandant said.