A group of stakeholders in Bayelsa State yesterday yesterday accused the Darlong Security Services (DSS) of masterminding extra-judicial killings in the state.
The non-governmental organis-ation (NGO), Kimisese Mass Movement for Good Governance (KMMGG), called for the suspension of all operations of the company in the state pending the conclusions of investigations into the alleged criminal activities against the firm.
The group also appealed to the the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to save the state from crisis and further bloodshed by withholding the pipeline surveillance contract it awarded to the firm.
Speaking in Yenagoa, the Chairman, KMMGG, Mr. Charles Kuroteizi, showed that the security firm had issues and must submit itself for investigations.
The security firm, owned by David Lyon, a loyalist of former Governor Timipre Sylva, is handling surveillance contract for NAOC in the state.
Its activities came under scrutiny following a resolution of the state House of Assembly in a motion sponsored by a member representing Sagbama two, Bernard Kenebai accusing the firm of killings in the creeks.
The plight of Darlong worsened on Wednesday when members of the House of Representatives unanimously sponsored a motion at the House seeking the suspension of all surveillance contracts in Bayelsa.
Kuroteizi said from the findings of their organisation, many indigenes were killed in various communities in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.
He said: “We engage you (press) today due to somek critical security issues bedevelling the peace in SILGA and if not urgently handled could metamorphose into serious crisis.
“As a responsible organisation, we cannot sit down in our comfort zone and watch insecurity deteriorate to the level where youths are allegedly murdered in cold blood on a daily basis by Dalong Security Service under the guise of protecting oil facilities in the communities.
“From petitions at our disposal, one Erelayefa Ayawei, a native of Korokorosei was allegedly killed while Delight Olando and Justina Samuel sustained gunshot injuries.
“In Ikeinghbiri community, Mr. Kosene Komoh0Nimitei was allegedly shot dead. At Ondewari community, four persons including Deintei Rufus, Kombowei Godknows, Showboy Imienye and Ebimobowei Alasuo were killed by the same security company while Akpokere Christopher lost his leg to amputation owing to bullet wounds.”
He added that in Korokorosei community, 12 houses were allegedly burnt down and 25 persons in exile in neighbouring communities for fear of being attacked.
Kuroteizi asked Governor Seriake Dickson to immediately set up a panel of inquiry and investigate the alleged killings and bring the perpetrators to book within three weeks.
“But if nothing is done at the expiration of three weeks ultimatum, we will commence a legal action against the governor. Afterall, one of the responsibilities of government is to protect lives and property,” he said.
In its reaction, the management of Darlong described the allegation as lies, unthinkable and unfortunate, saying it existed only in the imagination of the accusers.
Its Public Relations Manager and Security Coordinator, Mr. Preye Oseke, said there was nothing illegal and criminal in the activities of the company.
He described the allegations from the group as “ill-conceived, malicious, unfounded and politically motivated.”
He said that Darlong as a responsible and law-abiding firm, operates within the limits of the law, adding that its operations created jobs for more than 4,000 youths hitherto engaged in oil theft and sundry crimes in the creeks of Bayelsa.
Oseke said: “If we killed somebody, what is the name of the bereaved? Who killed him? When, where and how? I am the spokesman for the company and I am telling you that Darlong Security and Guards is never involved in criminalities.
“If you say somebody is stockpiling arms, which employee of Darlong is stockpiling arm? At where? The state government should go to the place with security agents and get the arms that are being stockpiled.
“If any government person has any criminal case against any employee of our company, they should write the Inspector General of Police, and other security agencies and let them get the person arrested and be prosecuted,” he said.