Navy Arrests 221 Suspects, 27 Vessels, Recovers 150,000 Litres of Stolen Petrol


Chiemelie Ezeobi
The Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy (NN) wednesday said it arrested 221 persons, 25 vessels and boats and recovered 150,000 litres of stolen petrol over the course of seven months.

While the ships arrested by the command were of various makes and sizes, the 221 suspects were arrested for various offences including pipeline vandalism, piracy and illegal bunkering of petroleum products.

The former Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Raphael Osondu, made this disclosure wednesday at the handing over ceremony of the command.
Speaking at the parade organised on his behalf in Lagos, Osondu, while giving account of his seven months stewardship at the command, said the achievements were fuelled by the vision of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ette Ibas.

He said: “In September 16, 2015, I was given this chance to serve as the FOC Western Naval Command and I decided it would be a shame to waste it on anything less than my best.

“Within the past seven months, the command worked hard to meet the requirements of the CNS Strategic Directive 2015-1 by discharging NN roles in its Area of Responsibility in line with global best practices.

“To this extent, the command carefully analysed the prevailing contemporary security situation in the country and came up with robust policing duties and sustained internal security operations.

“Also, prudent use of resources as well as improved welfare programmes. Other proactive measures included training and development of manpower and engraved cooperative engagements with relevant agencies.
“In demonstration of its robust policing duties, the command arrested a number of vessels for various infractions on our waters.

“These operations were greatly enhanced by the provisions of Regional Maritime Awareness Centre (RMAC) and FALCON EYE, two facilities that have reinforced NN’s presence at sea.”

Earlier, his successor, Rear Admiral Ferguson Bobai said in his new capacity as the 36th FOC of the command, the navy would continually strive to achieve its core directives.

He added: “The navy has a vision mapped out by the CMS, which is having a credible naval force that will ensure security of the maritime domain.”