Reps Give Chief Of Naval Staff 7-Day Ultimatum To Appear Before Public Account Committee

A file photo of lawmakers during plenary at the House of Representatives chamber in Abuja .


The House of Representatives Committee on Public Account has given a 7-day ultimatum to the Chief of Naval Staff,  Ibok Ekwe Ibas, to appear before the Committee.

Lawmakers in the Committee expressed their displeasure that the Chief of Naval Staff failed to honour their earlier invitation, and instead sent the Nigerian Navy’s Assistant Director of Budget, whom the lawmakers consider to be too low ranked to address the Parliament.

They asked the Chief Of Naval Staff to ensure that he honours the invitation within seven days.

Vice Admiral Ibok Ibas is expected to respond to a query from the Auditor General of the Federation regarding certain activities within the Nigerian Navy.

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(File: Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe Ibas, at a meeting with the President in Abuja on May 14, 2020.)

Recently, the House of Representatives launched various investigations and probes, querying some sectors and agencies within the country.

Most recent probes include an investigation into the alleged illegal withdrawals from the dividends accounts of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), as well as a probe of the power sector.

Some other investigations by the Reps include a probe into the financial budgetary provisions, approvals and multilateral donations on skills acquisition and related programmes of the Federal Government and its agencies, including the home-grown school feeding programme.

President Buhari Approves Naval Base For Lake Chad Basin

President Buhari Approves Naval Base For Lake Chad BasinNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has given approval for the establishment of a naval base at the Lake Chad basin to boost security in the north-east.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, disclosed this to State House correspondents on Monday after meeting with the President.

Vice Admiral Ibas explained that the Lake Chad area is a strategic location that provides means of livelihood to hundreds of thousands of people.

He noted that the presence of the Nigerian Navy would help in consolidating on the security of the area.

The Naval Chief also said a dedicated task force has since been put in place to tackle the problem of sea piracy in Nigeria.

Nigerian Navy To Boost Capacity With 14 Assault Boats

Nigerian Navy To Boost Capacity With 14 Assault BoatsThe Nigerian Navy has revealed plans to acquire 14 assault boats from South Africa, to boost its capacity building efforts in tackling maritime crimes.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, made the disclosure during an interview with Channels Television in South Africa.

He hinted that the acquisition also involved a phase where part of the construction would be completed in Nigeria.

“The deal is such that the production will start here (in South Africa) and later be transferred to the Naval Dockyard in Lagos.

“We are also going to attach our personnel to the company during the process and this is to build capacity and transfer technology,” the Naval Chief said.

He stressed that maritime crimes are transnational in character, noting that “what happens to one coastal nation cannot be isolated from the other”.

Vice Admiral Ibas said Nigeria has been able to reduce the cases of piracy to the barest minimum, while efforts are ongoing to tackle human and drug trafficking.

“In the case of piracy, I think we have reduced the incidences to the barest minimum and where they take place, we ensure that we are at the scene of the incident before damage is done to seafarers.

“With respect to human and drug trafficking, we are working closely with other national maritime law enforcement agencies to ensure that we are able to contain the menace,” he said.

The Chief of Naval Staff has been attending a string of meetings and events in South Africa on the invitation of his counterpart in the country.


Navy Assures Anambra Citizens Of Sustainable Security On Waterways

Navy,The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, has assured the people of Anambra state of sustainable security on the coastal lines and on other waterways of the River Niger.

The reassurance was given during his visit to Anambra state where he commissioned over five projects at the Onitsha Naval Outpost in Odekpe, Ogbaru local government area of the state.

Receiving him, the State Governor, Willie Obiano, commended, the effort of the Navy, especially in crippling the activities of arms dealers prowling through the River Niger.

He then assured the Navy of the government’s full support in ensuring tightened security on the waterways.

FG Commissions ‘Falcon Eye’ To Tackle Illegalities On Nigerian Waterways

waterways2The Federal Government has commissioned the operation Falcon Eye, Eastern Regional Control Centre in Cross Rivers state, for an over the horizon maritime surveillance from defection to intervention.

This, according to the government, is in continuation of its fight to reduce the rate of illegalities on Nigeria’s waters.

The Chief Of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, reiterated this objective, while officially commissioning the environment protection infrastructure.

Also present were other security chiefs as well as the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade.

In 2016, the Nigerian Navy had also embarked on a sea exercise, named ‘Exercise Eagle Eye’, which was aimed at assessing its operational capacity in the fight against internal and external aggression along Nigerian waterways.

Shortly after kick-off, the force recorded some success as it arrested five suspected oil thieves during their regular sea exercise.

They also destroyed four illegal refineries set up at Ijawkiri in Rivers state during the operation.

IGP Idris Seeks More Funding For Police

Police, Ibrahim Idris, IGPThe Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, has called for an upward review of the budgetary provision of the Nigeria Police Force.

He made the appeal on Wednesday at a meeting with members of the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mr Idris stressed the need for more funding if the issues of insecurity and other social vices in the country were to be addressed.

The Chairman of the committee, Representative Haliru Jika, assured the police chief that the lawmakers would look into the matter.

Meanwhile, some other committees of the House such as that of the Navy and the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) also held meetings with officials of the agencies.

The Acting Managing Director of FERMA, Peter Ibu, received the lawmakers who were led by Representative Jerry Alagboso at the agency’s headquarters in the Federal Capital Territory.

The House Committee on Navy also met with officers of the Nigerian Navy who were led by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas, at the National Assembly.

The meetings appear to be part of the lawmakers’ efforts to assess the performance of the 2016 budget, even as they prepare to commence work on the 2017 budget.

Gov. Emmanuel Promises More Support For Akwa Ibom Youths

Gov. Emmanuel Promises More Support For Akwa-Ibom YouthsGovernor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has appealed to youths of the state to key into the development efforts of his administration in order to secure a better future for the state.

He made the call in Uyo during a carnival organized by the youths to celebrate the end of the year 2016 and the beginning of 2017.

Governor Emmanuel said that he was on a mission as governor to lay a solid foundation for the youths, and enjoined them to eschew any form of division amongst them and join hands with his government to move the state forward.

“I came here today to renew my pledge to you during the one million-man match. I’m here for the youths, we will do everything for the youths.

“The future of Akwa Ibom is for the youths. Once we can have a solid foundation for the youths, we have secured the future of Nigeria.

“I appeal to you to embrace the development that is coming into the state. If we remain backward, we will regret in the future,” he said.

The Governor also advised them to take advantage of the ongoing recruitment exercise into any of the nation’s security establishments including the Navy, Army, Air Force and Police among others.

He noted that their enrolment in the security services would be beneficial to the state as it would afford the state the opportunity of producing service chiefs in the future.

“Endeavour to apply to the forces that are coming to the state, because it is through this that we will have Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Army Staff, and Inspector General of Police.

“If you don’t want to leave Akwa Ibom State, I will do everything possible for you to be posted to the state

“If you have any issue, contact the Special Assistant to the Governor on Youths Matters, Comrade Iwa Udofia, and I will do everything possible to have the issue solved.”

Governor Emmanuel expressed confidence in Iwa Udofia’s leadership of the youths in the state, and directed all youth bodies in the state to work under him.

“Let us remain together as youths. Let there not be any division among us. Party youths are there to maintain the structure of the party. There is only one youth organization in the state,” he said.

Nigerian Navy Claims Reduction In Crude Oil Theft And Pipeline Vandalism

Nigerian Navy Claims Reduction In Crude Oil Theft And Pipeline VandalismThe Nigerian Navy says there has been drastic reduction in maritime crimes especially illegal bunkering, crude oil theft and piracy which before now have been increasingly consistent in the nation’s waterways.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, made the claims in Warri during the annual Nigerian Navy Ball in Delta area.

Representing and delivering a speech on behalf of the Chief of Naval Staff at the occasion was the Commander, Logistics Command of the Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Bee Ibenwo.

In his address he highlighted some of the achievements of the force in Delta area in the last one year.

“The Nigerian Navy has over the years accounted for itself in ensuring the maritime security in maintaining national stability of the sub region

To sustain a collaborative effort in the sub-region, the NN must improve on its fighting capability and operational protectiveness.

Some milestones have been achieved especially in the areas of fleet recapitalisation which entails acquisition of platforms. Through this approach, the Nigerian Navy has taken delivery of two offshore vessels from China and six intersession boats from Sri Lanka”

While commending the Nigerian Navy for a selfless service to the country, former governor of Bayelsa State and a special guest of honour, Mr Nestor Binabo, appealed to all communities in the region to cooperate with the military, particularity the Nigerian Navy in the protection of the nation’s oil and gas facilities in the region

“All of us know that 90% of our wealth is within the Niger Delta Region and until the resources in this area are well protected, we cannot have a favourable economic development in our dear country.”

Many guests and officers at the event agreed that government should devote more resources to meet the short and long term needs of the Navy for a more effective discharge of their duties.

The Nigerian Navy Ball also known as Sun Set in military circle is seen generally as the time of the day when the sun disappears below the Western horizon.

The event had in attendance both serving and retired officers of the Nigerian Navy in the Niger Delta region, and it was an opportunity for all of them to unwind.

The lit lantern during the day till nightfall and the naval flag being lowered signified the ceremonial end of annual military activities of the Nigerian Navy in the Delta area, although routine patrols of the water ways for surveillance to forestall attacks on oil installations would continue into the New Year.

Presidency Refutes Story On Replacement Of Olonisakin, Ibas As Service Chiefs

counter terrorism, Olonisakin, ArmyThe Presidency in Nigeria has dismissed claims that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the replacement of Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, as Service Chiefs.

A statement by a spokesman for the President, Mr Femi Adesina, described the story it said was published by the Telegraph Newspaper as fictitious.

The statement read: “The newspaper, rather than rush to print an unsubstantiated story, would have done better to confirm the information at its disposal, from many available military and government information channels. It then would have avoided the self-inflicted wound of publishing a one-legged story that is not completely true, and damaging its brand in the process”.

The Presidency further explained that General Olonisakin would be retiring from the Army next week, having satisfied the official number of years in service.

“He is yet to be replaced. But the Chief of Naval Staff has a short while more, and President Buhari could, therefore, not have approved his replacement yet.

‘This administration has repeatedly pledged commitment to transparency and accountability, and one of the hallmarks of that is making information available to the media.

“But when some sections of the media would rather speculate, than cross-check and double check information, then it borders on deliberate mischief. That, surely, is not the way to go, for national cohesion and development,” the statement added.

Naval Chief Says Force Will Increase Surveillance On Waterways

navy, waterwaysThe Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, on Wednesday reiterated the need for increase and effective surveillance on the Nigerian Waterways.

As part of the efforts to improve security the naval chief visited naval formations in Delta State at the Naval Engineering College Oghara.

He said the recent activities by the militants in the region called for intensified security.

Rear Admiral Ibas explained that his tour had helped in the identification of challenges faced by men and officers in the region in the fight against oil theft, vandalisation and militancy.

‘Remain Patriotic’

He advised his men and officers to have a change of attitude in their operations to enable him actualise his new plan of addressing the menace confronting the nation’s waterways.

“You are all aware of the recent insecurity challenges in the country especially in the Niger Delta region and its impact on the economy. I have taken my officers up on the need to remain patriotic and serious with their jobs.

“I have visited some IOCs asking them the challenges they are having all on a bid to ensure that they mop up security and provide en enabling environment for the improvement of oil production,” he told reporters after the tour.

The naval chief also took time to thank officers and men of the Naval Command for their resilience and steadfastness in keeping Nigeria’s waterways void of crime.

Navy Chief Assesses Officers’ Readiness To Safeguard Waterways

navy, waterwaysAs part of efforts to assess the professionalism and preparedness of the Nigerian Navy to adequately protect the nation’s waterways, the Chief Of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, is in Yenagoa for an inspection exercise.

During his visit to the Central Naval Command, he is expected to assess the quality of equipment belonging to the force and evaluate the professionalism of the officers.

The navy chief, who commissioned the gymnastics and relaxation centre of the Naval central command in Yenagoa and inspected other projects, was also hosted by the Deputy Governor of the State, Rear Admiral John Jonah, at the government house.

While receiving Mr Ibas at the Government House, Yenagoa, Mr Jonah called for increased collaboration and support for the Nigerian Navy, to enable the agency effectively police the Niger Delta region and the Nation’s territorial waters.

He noted that, the call is imperative in view of the increasing level of sophistication, with which the criminal elements carry out their nefarious activities in the maritime environment of the country.

The deputy governor, who described the Nigerian Navy as the only national establishment that has the responsibility, resources and training to keep the maritime space safe, urged all stakeholders to give legitimate support to the agency’s fight against crude oil theft, piracy and other crimes in the waterways.

He also expressed full appreciation to the Nigerian Navy for immortalizing Late Rear Admiral Nelson Bossman Soroh, by naming one of its formations, NNS Soroh, after him.

Mr Jonah said the gesture would go a long way in motivating serving naval personnel, to give their best in serving the nation.

“Let me also use this opportunity to publicly commend the Nigerian Navy for its efforts to immortalise one of our heroes, Rear Admiral Nelson Bossman Soroh, who gave his best, in serving our country.

“I thank you all for recognizing his contributions by naming a base, NNS Soroh.

He then called on the Navy to increase its presence in the state, by deploying more mobile stations and machinery to enhance its operations in Bayelsa, which he described as the most riverine state in the entire country.

He believes that Bayelsa State needs more of those mobile stations than other areas, because according to him, it is more riverine than any other state.

Referring to the state as the “centre of gravity”, he appealed for special attention.

“I know it is not easy to have those mobile platforms. But, let’s make sure that, we continue to mount pressure on the management of the system.

The Chief of Naval Staff, told journalists that his visit to the state was in continuation of an ongoing nationwide inspection tour of naval base, equipment and establishments.

He also expressed gratitude to the state government for the donation of a 100-hectare land and gunboats to the Nigerian Navy.

Vice Admiral Ibas promised to make good use of the donations and assured that the Navy would be more proactive in its approach to curbing criminality in the nation’s maritime environment.

He said, “I want to thank you for the support you have provided the Nigerian Navy, since our arrival here both in terms of logistics and welfare support to our bases.

“You are aware, that we have extended our bases and units to create mobile stations, which enables us to be closer to the people and fully cover the flash-points that we have identified.

“We are also in the process of creating additional choke points.”

He expressed hopes that once those areas are well manned and policed, “we will be able to reduce criminality,”.

Prosecutor’s Absence Stalls Trial Of Former Militant Leader, Tompolo

TompoloThe absence of the federal government prosecutor, Mr Festus Keyamo at the Federal High Court, Lagos on Thursday stalled the scheduled trial of former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo.

Tompolo is facing a 22-count charge of alleged fraud of N47.6bn.

He was arraigned in absentia by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on April 18, 2016 alongside six brothers of a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi.

All seven of them were declared as being “at large” when the charges were read before Justice Ibrahim Buba.

But Akpobolokemi and three others who were also listed as defendants in the amended charge, were present in court to answer to the charges.

The charges border on conspiracy, advance fee fraud and money laundering. But the defendants who were in court pleaded not guilty to all of them.

At the proceedings on Thursday, the court said that the prosecutor, Mr Keyamo wrote to ask for an adjournment on the grounds that his main witness was not available.

The trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, consequently adjourned the case till December 13 and 14, 2016 for trial.

One of the defence counsels, has however filed a preliminary objection to challenge the competence of the charges.

He asked the court to strike out the entire 22 counts filed by the EFCC against his client.

Another defence counsel also informed the court of his client’s pending bail application.

Justice Buba adjourned till November 10, 2016 to take the two pending applications.