Navy Arrests Suspected Economic Saboteurs, Recovers Cannabis, Rice Worth Over N110m

 

The Nigerian Navy on Thursday paraded some alleged illicit drug traffickers, foreign rice smugglers and illegal dealers in oil bunkering.

Rear Admiral Bashir Mohammed, the Commander of the NNS BEECROFT, disclosed this while parading the suspects in Lagos.

He warned those he described as economic saboteurs to take their activities off Nigerian waterways.

“We arrested some suspected criminals involved in different kinds of crime. This includes illegal bunkering of petroleum products, movement of cannabis popularly known as Indian hemp, and smuggling of rice,” Mohammed said.

READ ALSO: Wike Gifts N30m To Families Of Three Slain Policemen In Rivers

The 413 bags of foreign rice is estimated to be worth over N13 million, while the cannabis bagged in 261 large sacs, is estimated to be worth N100 million.

The suspected oil bunkers, the naval commander stated, were arrested with 125 drums each with 250 litres capacity of the Petroleum Motor Spirit, otherwise known as petrol.

Real Admiral Mohammed said the petroleum products estimated to take about three tankers could be dangerous to car engines.

“You have a large quantity of foreign rice smuggled into Nigeria using boats. We have over 400 bags. We are very serious about the rice issue because of the Federal Government’s economic policy on the non-importation of rice and we are to produce our own rice. So these are economic saboteurs.

“One of the most disturbing aspects of it is that most of them are foreigners from our neighbouring countries who come into this country and be involved in this heinous crime,” he added.

The naval officer promised to hand over the goods and suspects to the relevant agencies – the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for necessary action.

“NNS BEECROFT will not tolerate any act of crime in our water,” he warned. “Anyone involved will be brought to book.”

All the suspects paraded are said to be arrested during the yuletide.

See more photos below:

 

FULL LIST: Nigerian Navy Promote 56 Senior Officers

Nigerian-navy-recruitment-2020
File photo: Nigerian Navy

 

The Navy Board on Tuesday approved the promotions of 56 naval officers to various senior ranks in the Nigerian Navy.

A breakdown of the promotion released showed that 35 captains were elevated to commodore while 21 commodores were promoted to the rank of rear admiral.

The newly-promoted rear admirals are Chibuike Azike, Ismaila Zelani, Alexandar Bingel, Kennedy Ezete, Livingstone Izu, Emmanuel Ogalla, Hamza Kaoje, Saheed Akinwande, Umar Chugali, Eugenio Ferreira, Bashir Mohammed, Mike Oamen, Ayodeji Olugbode, Abdulmajid Ibrahim, Abdullahi Ahmed, John Mamman, Peter Zakaria, Abolaji Orederu, Hamza Ibrahim, Sunday Oyegade and Saburi Lawal.

READ ALSOPolice Service Commission Promotes Two AIGs, Over 7,000 Others

In an earlier approval, 81 commanders were promoted to the rank of captain.

The Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo on behalf of officers, ratings, and civilian staff of the Nigerian Navy, rejoiced with the newly-promoted senior officers and their families and charged them to rededicate themselves to their responsibilities and remain loyal to the nation and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR.

Buhari Inaugurates Made-In-Nigeria Vessel, Other Projects In Lagos

Buhari says his government is committed to supporting the Nigerian Navy.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated a locally-built Seaward Defence Boat (SDB) 111 in Lagos State. 

The vessel, which was inaugurated on Thursday and built by NNS Oji, is the third of its series to be built by the Nigerian Navy, according to a statement by a presidential aide, Femi Adesina.

He quoted his principal as saying during the event that the new inductions to the Naval fleet, would increase the agency’s capacity in securing the nation’s maritime domain.

The vessel was made by the Nigerian Navy.

 

‘‘We should note that we are in a critical period where our country is faced with a serious decline in our revenue and the security challenges we are facing,” Buhari added, urging the personnel to make good use of the platforms as well as maintain professionalism.

‘‘The present realities, therefore, call for prudent resource management, innovativeness, accountability, and careful maintenance. I wish to reiterate that despite these challenges, our administration is very determined to ensure that the Navy is well supported to achieve its statutory responsibilities.

“Let me assure you that the Government will continue to support the ideals of the Nigerian Navy in the performance of its constitutional duties. God bless the Nigerian Navy, God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Onward Together.”

Buhari says the Nigerian Navy is a major contributor to the country’s economy.

 

Buhari, according to the statement, also lauded the Nigerian Navy for keeping a steady course in its local content development drive, also restated the Federal Government’s resolve to equip the agency.

‘‘I commend the business dependability of Messrs OCEA Shipyard – France, the builders of our Navy’s first-ever purpose-built Offshore Survey Vessel for a conclusive and successful execution of the contract.

“Local partners should share in this commendation for their efforts at local facilitation as outlined in the Government’s local content policy,’’ he said.

 

While acknowledging the efforts of the Nigerian Navy in securing Nigeria’s vast oil and gas industry, he said the Navy is a major contributor to the nation’s economic development.

‘‘Arrests of those involved in illegalities have yielded results as some pirates, illegal bunkering syndicates, pipeline vandals and other miscreants have been convicted during this year,” Buhari added.

‘‘Such successes were made possible through the enforcement of our new anti-piracy law on Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act 2019.

“Furthermore, the provision of the new policy directives by the current administration of the Navy codified in such documents as the Nigerian Navy Strategic Plan ‪2021-2030‬; the Chief of the Naval Staff Strategic Directive 2021-5 and the Total Spectrum Maritime Strategy have given the Service credible guidelines and leverage for improved operational efficiency.”

US Nuclear Sub Damaged In Underwater Collision

In this image released by the US Navy, The Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN 22) departs Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton for deployment in Bremerton, Washington on May 27, 2021. Lt. Mack Jamieson / US NAVY / AFP

 

A US nuclear submarine was damaged after hitting an unidentified object while operating underwater in Asia, the US Navy said Thursday.

The USS Connecticut, a nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine, “struck an object while submerged on the afternoon of Oct. 2, while operating in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region,” the navy said in a statement.

It said there were no life-threatening injuries, but USNI News, a site specializing in navy news, reported that about a dozen sailors were hurt “with moderate to minor injuries.”

USNI News also said the submarine was operating in the South China Sea, where the US Navy has sought to challenge China’s disputed territorial claims on small islands, reefs and outcrops.

Beijing claims almost the entire South China Sea, parts of which are also claimed by four Southeast Asian countries as well as the self-ruled island of Taiwan.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Friday that Beijing was “extremely concerned” about the collision and accused the US of deliberately concealing the nature of the incident.

Washington should provide “detailed clarification” of the event, including information about what the submarine collided with, whether it caused nuclear leakage and whether it damaged the local marine environment, Zhao said at a regular press briefing.

He accused the US of long “disturbing the peace” in the South China Sea “under the banner of freedom of navigation.”

The US Navy said the extent of the damage is being examined and the incident investigated.

“The submarine remains in a safe and stable condition. USS Connecticut’s nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operational,” it said.

USNI News said the vessel is now headed to the US base at Guam.

AFP

Arms Proliferation: Navy Disclaims Submission By Officer

A photo combination of a man carrying a gun and the Director of Legal Services, Nigerian Navy, Commodore Jemila Malafa

 

The Nigerian Navy has dissociated itself from the submissions made by commodore Jemila Malafa at a House Public Hearing on a bill to establish a commission against the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

Commodore Malafa who represented the Navy at the hearing earlier on Tuesday alleged that Chadian soldiers engaged in the illicit trade of small arms.

According to her, Chadian soldiers sell guns for as low as $20 (N8,200) and this further endangers Nigeria’s security.

“Some of these countries that we have a border with have no armoury. They do not have armoury. So most of their arms that are being donated by — I don’t want to be specific — the developed countries in the name of assisting us to fight our problems — are compounding our problems in Nigeria because you find out that each average Chadian soldier has 20 to 30 arms underneath his bed,” she said.

“Since we are going to collaborate with ECOWAS and other countries that are donating such arms to these countries [African countries], I think we should insist that they should either enact laws to govern the handling of these arms and ammunition or build an armoury for these countries or else we will not see peace.”

But according to a statement signed by the Spokesman of the Navy, Commodore Dahun Suleiman, the Nigeria Navy disowned her claims, saying they do not represent the position of the Navy.

Read Also: Arms Proliferation: Chadian Soldiers Sell Guns For As Low As $20, Endanger Nigeria’s Security – Navy

“During the hearing on this Bill, the representative of the Nigerian Navy (NN) duly presented the position of the Service on the proposed Act but went ahead to make some unauthorized, personal comments on the issue of transnational trafficking of small arms and light weapons,” the statement read in part.

“The Nigerian Navy appreciates the indelible contributions of our regional partners and neighbours in the fight against small arms and light weapons trafficking”.

The navy further stated that Nigeria maintains robust diplomatic security relationships with its neighbouring countries and commits to deepening the existing arraignments.


Watch the video of Commodore Jemila Malafa speaking House of Reps Public Hearing.

Navy Hands Over Two Vessels Carrying Crude Oil To EFCC

Some of the crew members.

 

The Nigerian Navy has handed over two vessels –  MT Bright Hope and MV Johanna 11  –  to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). 

The two vessels were arrested by the Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base Bonny with thirteen crew members onboard MT Bright Hope while  twelve crew members were onboard MV Johanna 11 .

While performing the handing over exercise in Bonny, Rivers State, the commanding officer Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base Bonny, Captain Rufus Taye Oladejo explained that preliminary investigation has revealed that MT Bright Hope was arrested on the 10th of September 2021 along the Bonny waterways laden with about 1,371,256 litres of stolen crude oil and 62,431 litres of illegal refined AGO.

READ ALSO[Alleged ₦1.4bn Fraud] EFCC’s Documents Were Duly Obtained – Court

Photo: Facebook/EFCC

 

Captain Oladejo while giving a brief of the second vessel, MV Johanna 11 that was also  arrested on the 14th of July 2021 conveying about 394 ,000 litres of product suspected to be AGO without the Nigerian Navy approval, also explained that activities of illegal refineries have reduced drastically due to the synergy with other sisters agencies in policing Nigeria’s waterways against oil theft and other marine crimes.

EFCC detective Arasah Shaks, who received the vessels and the suspects on behalf of the Port Harcourt Zonal command of the EFCC, said investigation will commence immediately and the suspects prosecuted if found guilty.

 

A photo of one of the vessels. Source: EFCC

 

Detective Shaks gave kudos to the Nigerian Navy for their unrelenting efforts in seeing that the waterways are protected and safe.

Navy Receives Operation Safe Haven Personnel From Jos

 

A batch of naval personnel attached to the Operation Safe Haven of the Nigerian Army has returned to base from the theatre of conflict.

While receiving them in Lagos on Tuesday, the flag officer commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Jason Gbassa, said the personnel will undergo a trauma therapy session before reuniting with their family.

“Today as we are receiving this set another set took off to go to the frontline”, Gbassa told journalists while receiving the personnel.

 

Naval personnel attached to Operation Safe Haven return to Lagos from Plateau State

 

“After receiving these personnel, we are going to keep them to undergo post-conflict stress management for a week, and then they will be released to reunite with their families for two weeks”.

He added that the personnel will resume work after reuniting with their families to face their national assignment.

Operation Safe Haven is a special military task force set up to maintain peace in Plateau State.

National Security: 235 Military Officers Get Counter-Terrorism Training

 

The Armed Forces Command and Staff College Jaji in Kaduna State has conducted a special training course for a total of 235 junior military officers on counter-terrorism and peace support operations.

The training which involved the Army, Air Force and Navy, was aimed at equipping them with the necessary skills to function as Grade-Three Staff Officers and Junior Commanders in their various military services and organisations.

Speaking during the graduation ceremony on Saturday, the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo, noted that the training became necessary as a result of the myriad of security challenges confronting the nation.

He also noted that the challenges require effective training of officers and men in the art of counter-terrorism, peace support operations and disaster management.

Among those who participated in the training were also allied officers from Liberia, Ghana, Gambia, Cameroun, Sierra Leone, and Benin Republic.

Read Also: Air Force Trains Personnel To Tackle Incessant Aircraft Crashes

Addressing the officers, Rear Admiral Gambo, urged them to apply the skills learnt from the college in the ongoing war against terrorists in the northeast, bandits in the north west and north central as well as other related crimes across the country.

The Naval boss also reminded them of their expected roles in the realisation of the Federal Government’s Change Agenda and war against terror.

Speaking further, he asked them to imbibe the cardinal virtues of a soldier which include discipline, team spirit, time management and self-confidence among others.

Navy Arrests 24 Illegal Oil Bunkers In Ondo

A map of Ondo, a state in south-west Nigeria.

 

Men of the Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base in Igbokoda, Ondo State have arrested 24 illegal oil bunkering Suspects in Abereke, a riverine community in the oil-producing Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.

The Commanding Officer of the Naval Base, Captain Shuaib Ahmed who briefed journalists on Sunday said the suspects were arrested on January 12 by a patrol team at sea along Ondo-Lagos route offshore Mahin.

Ahmed said the patrol team apprehended the suspects with six boats containing thousands of litres of Automotive Gas Oil otherwise known as Diesel Oil, empty drums, empty GP tanks, pumping machines, outboard engines and generating sets.

He appealed to the general public, especially the communities where the base operates to assist in providing meaningful Information in curbing all forms of economic sabotage like crude oil theft, illegal bunkering and crimes such as kidnapping and piracy.

Speaking to Channels Television, two of the Suspects, Joseph Ayeni and Kayode Omotehinse confessed to committing the crime.

They regretted their actions and pleaded for forgiveness, saying they were driven into the crime due to unemployment.

Also, some residents of Abereke community who spoke to Channels Television condemned illegal bunkering.

They, however, appealed to the government to provide job opportunities for the youths to prevent them from getting involved in criminal activities.

Nigerian Navy Re-equips Headquarters In Borno After Boko Haram Invasion

Borno is situated in northeast Nigeria.

 

The Nigerian Navy says it is re-equipping its operational headquarters in Baga town of Borno State, looted by Boko Haram.

The Baga Naval Base was dislodged in December 2018 after a fierce battle with the Boko Haram insurgents.

This is according to the Chief of Training and Operations of the Naval Headquarters, Rear Admiral Ibikunle Taiwo Olaiya.

Olaiya represented the Chief of Naval Staff at a new year get together with troops in a make-shift base in Maiduguri.

Read Also: Air Force Destroys New Boko Haram Settlement In Borno

The naval chief praised the efforts of personnel during the attack which according to him “allowed personnel of sister services and paramilitary then based in Baga to withdraw safely including many civilians.”

He also revealed that two years after the dislodgement, some personnel are still missing in action, but assures that the faultlines that led to the overrunning of the base have been studied and corrected to avoid a reoccurrence.

EFCC Receives Four Suspected Oil Thieves From Navy

The four suspected oil thieves were handed over to the EFCC by the Nigerian Navy on November 24, 2020.

 

The Nigerian Navy has handed over four suspected oil thieves to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Rivers State.

They are Ebenezer Afonka (captain), Bernard Umor (engineer), Kingsley Monday, and Ishmael Willy, the EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed in a statement.

The Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the anti-graft agency received the suspects from the navy on Tuesday alongside a vessel – MV Captain Samuel.

Commander S.G. Muhammed, who handed over the suspects and the vessel, disclosed that they were arrested on October 24 by the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder for their alleged involvement in illegal oil bunkering.

READ ALSO: Six Foreigners, Nigerian Sentenced To Seven Years In Prison For Oil Theft

Two Nigerian Navy officers and an EFCC officer pose for a photograph in Rivers State on November 24, 2020.

 

At the time of arrest, he noted that the vessel was laden with an unspecified quantity of substance suspected to be illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), also known as diesel.

The representative of the Head of EFCC Port Harcourt Zonal Office, Tasui Abubakar, received the suspects and the vessel on behalf of the commission.

Abubakar, who is also the Head of the Counter-Terrorism and General Investigation (CTGI), assured the navy that justice would be served on the matter.

Uwujaren noted that the EFCC had begun investigating the suspects and would charge them to court upon the conclusion of its probe.

The vessel seized by the Nigerian Navy was handed over to the EFCC in Rivers State on November 24, 2020.

 

This comes a day after a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State convicted and sentenced six foreigners and a Nigerian to seven years imprisonment for oil theft.

Justice Kolawole Omotosho gave the sentence after three years of prosecution of the convicts by the EFCC.

The convicts included Mohammed Ejaz and Nasser Khan – Pakistanis; Oleksandr Nazarenko and Oleksandr Kashernvi – Ukrainians; Romeo Annang – Ghanaian, Fredrik Omenu – Indonesian; and David Otuohi – Nigerian.

A combination of photos of the foreigners and Nigerian sentenced by the court in Rivers State on November 23, 2020.

EFCC, Navy Re-Strategise Against Oil Theft

A file photo of the EFCC logo.

 

 

As part of efforts to stem the tide of criminal activities in the maritime sector, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Nigeria Navy have agreed to review their strategies.

This resolve was expressed on Monday, September 21, 2020 during a courtesy visit by the Zonal Head of the Lagos office of EFCC, AbdulRasheeed Bawa, to Commodore Ibrahim Aliyu Shetima, Commander, Nigeria Navy Ship, NSS BEECROFT, Apapa Lagos.

Speaking during the visit, Bawa said: “The EFCC has the mandate to prosecute arrested suspects for illegal dealings in petroleum products and other maritime-related crimes and it has lived up to its billings. We will continue to curtail the activities of the criminals in the maritime industry”.

Bawa, who conveyed the regards of the acting Chairman, Umar Mohammed, to Shetimma, acknowledged the existing cooperation and working relationship between the EFCC and the Navy.

The Lagos Zonal Head, who used the occasion to officially introduce himself to the Commander, also sought a more robust collaboration and deepening of the existing working relationship.

Bawa, who also gave an update on the progress of the cases handed over to the EFCC Lagos Zonal Office, added that “We have recorded a 90 per cent success rate in our cases in court.

“Out of the 46 cases handed over to the Commission in the course of the collaboration, 22 of them have been completed successfully, including 17 vessels and their products forfeited to the Federal Government after diligent investigation and prosecution, while 18 others are at advanced stages of prosecution in various courts”.

Bawa further expressed the readiness of the Commission to look into whatever challenges that might be hindering the speedy prosecution of suspects over illegal oil deals, adding that “the Commission would continue to strategize and be more proactive in the investigation of cases handed over to it so as to ensure that products in the vessels are evacuated promptly.”

Earlier, Shettima had expressed his gratitude over the visit, saying, “This visit could not have come at a better time. I am impressed by the progress the Commission had made so far on the prosecution of maritime-related offenders.

“We appreciate your efforts and timely intervention in the evacuation of suspects and prompt prosecution.

“Globally, maritime resources are important and Nigeria is not an exemption. We must continue to work together to protect the industry and curtail the activities of the criminals.”