ACN Condemns Burning Of Tankers In Rivers State
The Rivers State Action Congress of Nigeria says the indiscriminate burning of Tankers suspected to be carrying adulterated petroleum products, by the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) amounts to jungle justice and wrongful intrusion into the functions constitutionally reserved for the courts of law in Nigeria.
The Party's Spokesman, Jerry Needam made this disclosure in a statement made available to the press, while reacting to several cases of indiscriminate burning of Tankers, suspected to be carrying adulterated petroleum products in many locations in Rivers State by the JTF.
“While we commend the activities of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in combating crimes in the State and more importantly the resolve of the military to phase out illegal petroleum products operators and operations and save our natural resources from the hands of economic saboteurs, we condemn the unilateral setting ablaze of these tankers without recourse to law''.
'While we also do not and will absolutely not hold brief for owners of these suspected illegal products and tankers, the ACN abhors corrupt enrichment by people whose stock in trade is to make quick money to the detriment of our people and State, we equally consider the indiscriminate burning of these tankers and their contents as unjust and arrogant display of power by the military''.
“It amounts to jungle justice, cruelty, usurpation of the constitutional functions of the courts of law in the country and placing the military in Rivers State above the law''.
The party urges the military men in Rivers State to respect the law by prosecuting suspected illegal petroleum products dealers and the tankers, rather than take the laws into their hands.
According to the ACN, the military in Rivers State is not a court of competent jurisdiction and lacks legal and constitutional powers under the law to sentence illegal petroleum products and tankers to “DEATH'' by burning.
The party views this development as unhealthy and environmental degradation to the affected spots where the burning were carried out, considering the damage the burnt illegal petroleum products may have caused poor farmers' lands in Rivers State.
ACN urges the JTF in Rivers State to consider prosecuting these illegal petroleum products owners and the tankers in a court of competent jurisdiction, rather than portray the military as lawless and a court of law where suspects are judged and convicted, arbitrarily.