Falana Condemns 7-Month Detention Of Civilians, Military Personnel Without Trial By Navy

Nigeria Toying With 'Its Destiny' Without Electoral Reform, Says Falana

 

Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, has condemned the Navy’s continued detention of some civilians and military personnel without trial in 

According to Falana, some of those held in detention have been there for about 7months.

The civil rights advocate made this disclosure in a statement on Sunday.

The statement reads, “Sometime in September 2018, the Nigerian Navy arrested 15 Nigerian citizens including Group Captain Dada Labinjo, Lt. Commander Sherifat Ibe Lambert (also known as Mrs Bola Labinjo) and Benjamin Gold for an undisclosed offence. The detainees were immediately dumped in a military detention facility at Apapa in Lagos. In order to legalise the arrest and detention of the detainees the Naval Authorities obtained a remand warrant from a Magistrate Court sitting at Apapa. But as the detainees who were incarcerated for over 3 months were not charged with any criminal offence the Magistrate Court reviewed their case on January 7, 2019 and ordered the Naval Authorities to release them from illegal custody forthwith.

READ ALSO: National Assembly Is Toying With Nigeria’s Security, Says Falana

“But in utter contempt of the valid order of the Magistrate Court the Authorities of the Nigerian Navy transferred the detainees to another military detention facility in Abuja. Following the application by Lt. Commander Bola Labinjo filed for the enforcement of her fundamental right to personal liberty the Federal High Court directed the Naval Authorities to release her from illegal custody. But the valid order of the Federal High Court has equally been ignored by the Naval Authorities without any legal justification. Even though the civilians among the detainees are not subject to service law the Naval Authorities have continued to detain them in military detentuon facilities.

“As if that is not enough, the detainees have been denied access to their family members, medical doctors and lawyers. Furthermore, the fundamental right of the detainess to dignity has been violated as they are being held incommunicado in solitary confinement while they are subjected to physical, mental and psychological torture in total contravention of section 3(2) of the Anti Torture Act, 2017 which provides that “secret detention places, solitary confinement, incommunicado or other similar forms of detention where torture is carried out are prohibited.”

“As the prolonged incarceration of the detainees cannot be justified under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended or the Armed Forces Act they should be released from custody or arraigned before a competent court of law if there is reasonable suspicion that they have committed any criminal offence whatsoever. However, to curb the growing culture of official impunity in the country we are compelled to call on the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN to charge the naval personnel responsible for the violations of the fundamental rights of the detainees with contempt of court and acts of torture under the Criminal Code Act and the Anti Torture Act.”

Navy Seeks Cooperation To Minimize Incidences Of Sea Robbery

 

 

The Nigerian Navy is seeking cooperation and collaborative measures with other national military and paramilitary agencies in the country, in a bid to minimize incidences of sea robbery and other sea crimes within the Nigerian water space.

Speaking at an Inter-Agency co-operation seminar for Naval warfare course 3 training in Calabar, the Cross River State Capital, the Commandant of the Naval War College, Rear Admiral Adeseye Ayobanjo disclosed that, the seminar was to further enhance maritime security and promote inter-agency co-operation.

READ ALSO: NAF Aircraft Kills Insurgents, Destroys Vehicles In Sambisa Forest

The seminar with the theme, “Combating Smuggling Through Inter-Agency Co-operation” identified piracy as lead, among other security challenges within the Nigerian waters, with huge economic implications which if not checked over time, will sabotage efforts of government in ensuring safety at the nation’s maritime domain.

Other threatening areas as identified by the Navy include crude oil theft,  fisheries,  drug smuggling, importation of contraband goods and products of substandard values, illegal movements small arms and many more following record of several attacks and arrests made which can be curbed through inter-agency co-operation.

Greek Citizens, American Among Nine Suspected Pirates Arrested In Nigeria

Greek Citizens, American Among Nine Suspected Pirates Arrested In Nigeria
The suspects

 

Nine suspected pirates comprising three Greece citizens, an American and five blacks have been arrested during a joint operation by the Nigerian Navy and United States Coast Guard.

The suspects were nabbed when their vessel was stopped within the Nigerian waters while the navy combed the Western Naval Command area of the Gulf of Guinea, under ‘Operation Junction Rain’.

Upon a search of the vessel, the naval operatives recovered four military assault rifles (Bernelli MR-1) loaded with magazines, about 1,000 live ammunition in a box and other hidden exhibits including various communication gadgets, which they earlier denied they had while being interrogated.

The Officer in tactical command of the operation, Commodore Dickson Olisemenogor, said further investigation to unravel others behind the illegal operations of the vessel on the Nigerian waters would continue and those found culpable would be handed over to the concerned agencies for prosecution.

He added that another barge with 10 crew members suspected to be oil thieves was stopped and the crew members were arrested during the operation.

 

Three Migrants Dead, 15 Missing Off Libya – Italian Navy

File Photo: Migrants

 

Three migrants died and about 15 were missing off the Libyan coast, the Italian navy said Saturday, after staging a rescue operation in the Mediterranean.

The navy intervened on Friday and a helicopter rescued three people suffering from hypothermia who were flown to the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, Admiral Fabio Agostini said.

This was after Italian air force pilots “spotted a dinghy in distress carrying about 20 people,” he told Italian television in an interview tweeted by the navy.

“Three corpses were seen floating in the water during the operation,” he said, adding that the rescuers had been unable to locate the dinghy.

A Red Crescent spokesman meanwhile said 16 bodies had been found on the beaches of the Libyan city of Sirte between January 2 and 15.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 83 people have died so far this year trying to cross the Mediterranean.

It said the number of migrants and refugees landing on European shores had almost doubled in the first 16 days of this year to 4,216 against 2,365 over the same period in 2018.

Navy Arrests Suspected Rice Smugglers In Cross River

Navy Arrests Suspected Rice Smugglers In Cross River

 

The Nigerian Navy has arrested four suspects in connection with the smuggling of several bags of rice into Calabar from Cameroon through the Calabar waters in Cross Rivers state.

The suspects were intercepted on Monday while trying to navigate their way into the state capital.

Commander of the NNS Victory, Commodore Julius Nwagu, paraded the suspects at the NNS Jetty a day after they were arrested.

According to him, the smuggled rice valued at more than N6 million were shipped into the waterways from Cameroon using a wooden boat.

The commodore decried the continuous act of smuggling contraband goods into the country and warned those involved to desist from such acts.

He stated that the Navy would remain committed to the Federal Government’s fight against the importation of illegal goods into the country.

He also commended the command for the success stories being achieved in this regard.

The suspects were subsequently handed over to the Nigeria Customs Service for investigation and prosecution.

2019: Naval Chief Warns Officers To Be Non-Partisan

Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas

 

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, has warned officers not to engage in political activities ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Ibas stated this on Saturday at the presidential inauguration of officers of Course 65 of the Nigerian Defence Academy, at the Naval College in Onne area of Rivers State.

According to him, any officer found to meddle in politics during the electioneering campaigns in the lead up to next year’s general elections will be severely sanctioned.

“It is therefore important that wherever you find yourselves, your actions should be based on what is best for the nation and not on any individual or group,” he said.

The naval chief also reminded the officers of their primary responsibility of defending the nation’s territory against any form of attack.

He urged them to always consider Nigeria’s interest in whatever they do rather than seek to please some certain individuals.

“As Naval personnel, we must remember at all times those actions and inactions that will cast aspersions on the integrity of the Nigerian Navy or the Armed Forces of Nigeria at large.

“It is therefore important that wherever you find yourselves, your actions should be based on what is best for the nation and not on any individual or group,” he added.

His warning follows similar comments by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant- General Tukur Buratai, for soldiers to steer clear of politics in the discharge of their duties.

While declaring open the 2018 Chief of Army Staff First Quarter Conference in April, Buratai warned the personnel to remain apolitical but professionally responsive in the discharge of their constitutional duties.

The COAS revealed that he has directed a special Court Martial to be set up for erring soldiers caught to have to flout his orders.

 

Olonisakin Asks Military To Be Apolitical

Boko Haram video

 

The Chief of Defense Staff, Abayomi Olonisakin, has urged all military formations in the country to be apolitical.

The chief who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defense, Nuratu Batagarawa, said this on Monday at the passing out of over 1,000 new naval officers at the Nigerian Navy Training School, Onne, Rivers State.

He urged the men and women to be loyal and disciplined, adding that no officer should make themselves available to be used by self-seeking individuals.

The event was attended by the Chief of Naval Staff and other security chiefs in the state.

Navy Intercepts Boat Carrying Illegal Refined Oil

Nigerian Navy Embarks On Sea Inspection Exercise

 

The Nigerian Navy has intercepted a wooden boat laden with over 50 drums of illegally refined AGO at the Calabar waters worth over N20m.

Seven men were arrested alongside the products being conveyed from Rivers State to Calabar and were paraded at the NNS Victory Ship Jetty in Calabar, the Cross River State Capital.

The Commander, NNS Victory Ship, Commodore Julius Nwagu said, the Nigerian Navy will know no rest until the national sabotage to the nation’s economy especially on the waterways is completely wiped out.

He made this known on Saturday while handing over those arrested to the NSCDC at the Calabar Jetty in Cross River State.

On his part, the NSCDC boss, Haliru Usman, stated that appropriate sanctions will be meted on the culprits for further prosecution.

Aircrew Grounded As US Pilot Draws Obscene Image In Sky

File Photo

The US Navy was left red-faced Friday after a pilot painted an enormous outline of a penis in the sky using the condensation trails from his multi-million-dollar warplane.

Residents of the town of Okanogan, in the western state of Washington, had been stunned to see the F-18 jet scrawling the phallic symbol on Thursday, and several photos quickly circulated online.

Navy officials acknowledged one of their crews was behind the stunt, saying the aircraft “left a condensed air trail resembling an obscene image to observers on the ground.”

“The actions of this aircrew were wholly unacceptable and antithetical to Navy core values,” Lieutenant Commander Leslie Hubbell, a spokeswoman for the Naval Air Station on Whidbey Island, said in a statement.

“We have grounded the aircrew and are conducting a thorough investigation — and we will hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

“The Navy apologizes for this irresponsible and immature act,” she added.

Many onlookers on the ground posted images of the drawing on social media and appeared amused by the stunt.

Ramon Duran told The Spokesman-Review that he was running errands when he noticed the jet drawing the male genitalia.
“After it made the circles at the bottom, I knew what it was and started laughing,” Duran said.

“It was pretty funny to see that. You don’t expect to see something like that.”

Navy Flags Off Operation Octopus Grip In Delta

The Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Abubakar Alhassan reiterated the commitment of his men in curbing out criminal elements in Delta state.

According to him, the navy is ever ready to combat criminals whose aim is to jeopardise the nation’s economic interest.

“We started the first phase of the Octopus Grip which is “sea exercise” on October 30 in Onne, we are here to kick-start the phase two which is a riverine operation in Warri,” he said on Thursday.

The Naval boss further added that, “eleven gunboats from the NNS Delta will be used for the exercise and it will be going on simultaneously in other commands of the Nigerian Navy.”

It is hopeful the operation that began with the discovery of about thirty hectares of land used for illegal refineries at the Bennet Island in Warri south west local government area of the state, is being carried out with eleven gunboats, surveillance helicopters and a special naval squad.

Alhassan added, “Naval surveillance helicopters, eleven gunboats and a special naval squad being deployed for the operation octopus grid which is aimed at consolidating on the successes of the “operation rivers sweep” that was launched by the command in January.”

We Are Ready To Contain Niger Delta Avengers’ Threats – Navy

Police, Sea Pirates, Rivers
FILE PHOTO: Nigerian Navy boat

The Chief of the Naval Staff Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas says the Nigerian Navy has the responsibility and capacity to contain the threat made by the Niger Delta Avengers as well as other criminal acts in the waterways.

Ibas said this during the annual inspection exercise at the NNS Delta Command in Warri, Logistics Headquarters command in Oghara and the Engineering College Sapele, Delta State.

Responding to questions from journalists, after addressing his officers and ratings, Chief of the Naval Staff speaks on the strategy being explored by the Navy to address criminalities on the nation’s waterways.

READ ALSO: We Are Ready To Engage Niger Delta Avengers – FG

He said the fresh threat by the Niger Delta Avengers should not be taken with levity, hence the readiness of the Nigerian Navy. He said the navy will not relent in ensuring the safety of national assets in the region.

“Threat by Niger Delta avengers, sea robbers, pirates and kidnappers are threats that the armed forces of Nigeria have a responsibility towards containing.

“We do not wait until a threat comes from a particular group before we act and what we do is to protect lives and properties against any threat most especially the ones against the nation’s assets recall that in the height of vandalism and sea robbery, the navy had to deploy the strategy of chokepoints to reduce the movement of most of these criminals,” he said.

Police, Navy Clash: Families Of Slain Policemen Get N2m

Police, Navy Clash: Families Of Slain Policemen Get N2m

The Cross River State government has donated two million naira to families of the slain policemen and one who lost his eye during a clash between the police and the Nigerian Navy in the state.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Hafiz Inuwa, handed over the money to the beneficiaries on behalf of the state government on Wednesday at the State’s CID in Calabar, the state capital.

Inuwa said the two women who lost a husband and the other, who lost her only child, are to get N700,000 each while the police officer who lost his sight would get N600, 000.

The police officer, who is grateful for the offer, however, sued for the perpetrators of the incident to be brought to justice.

The gesture was in fulfilment of the promise made by the state governor,  Professor Ben Ayade, in solidarity with the families and victim of the unfortunate incident.

This comes almost five months after the deadly clash between personnel of the police and navy in Calabar, the state capital.

The clash, which occurred on May 30, was said to have generated from a disagreement between a police traffic officer and a naval officer at a checkpoint opposite the Navy Barracks in Akim area in the state capital.

The incident later resulted in a deadly riot in which suspected naval officers allegedly attacked a police divisional headquarters, killing at least two officers and injuring others after setting the facility ablaze.

This had prompted the state governor, Ben Ayade, to urgently convene a meeting with officials of both security outfits.

At the meeting, Governor Ayade condoled with the police and navy and promised to compensate the victims of the clash.