Navy Arrests, Prosecutes Suspected Maritime Criminals

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By Chiemelie Ezeobi  

In line with its zero tolerance to maritime illegalities, the Chief of Training and Operations (CTOP) of the Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo, yesterday, said the navy has  of recent, successfully made several arrests, detained the suspects and are presently prosecuting them. 

Osinowo made this disclosure at the inauguration of 23 officers of the rank of captains and commanders for the maiden four-week Command Level Officers’ course held at Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Quorra, Apapa, Lagos.

 Headlined by the Flag Officer Commanding, Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC), Rear Admiral Ifeola Mohammed and the Commandant, NNS Quorra,  Commodore Isaac Francis, the course was initiated to standardise the selection process of captains and commanders for command responsibilities afloat and ashore. 

Osinowo in his speech, also said the navy has successfully profiled some persons and their ships, who specialise in instigating hoax kidnap attempts, thereby creating false panic about the safety of the maritime domain. 

Citing the particular instance of a ship’s captain who was purportedly abducted last month, he said the navy had instigated an investigation that later revealed that the kidnap attempt was a hoax. 

He said investigations had revealed that the said captain had done the same thing two years ago, adding that they profiled some other ships who were fond of towing that line too and have fielded their names to the appropriate authorities. 

 Speaking on the need to partner other agencies in fighting maritime illegalities, Osinowo said: “We have seen the need to develop a joint synergy and approach towards managing the arrests, detention and prosecution of those found on board these vessels involved in maritime criminalities within our maritime space. 

“Under the extant regulations and acts that established many of the security agencies- Nigerian Navy, NIMASA, National Drug and Law Enforcement Agencies (NDLEA), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and Customs, we have seen the need to come together to develop a common framework. 

“We are talking to each other and we have started seeing the efficient and timely prosecution of arrested vessels as well as the managing of the post prosecution judgement, forfeitures and seizure.”

 In his speech, the FOC NAVTRAC, Rear Admiral Mohammed, said the navy needs a well-trained naval personnel with the confidence and attributes to defend the territorial integrity of the country.

He said: “The purpose of the training basically is to develop the requisite leadership attribute for the commanders at the various strata so that they are able to deliver to the people of Nigeria the service that we need.

 “The course is expected to establish the conglomerate thought process, concept of ownership, service orientation with classroom based scenarios for home  grown solutions to the NN problems.”

Mohammed also said that under his watch, absenteeism (awol) would not be tolerated, adding that naval personnel must have the inherent attitude that will ensure they defend the nation’s territorial integrity.

 Present at the inauguration were the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Fergusson Bobai and the Commander NNS BEECROFT, Commodore Abraham Adaji, among other senior officers.