Navy to Court Martial Three Personnel over Theft of Tompolo’s Equipment
Sylvester Idowu in Warri
The Nigerian Navy has set up a court martial to try three naval personnel allegedly involved in the theft of some equipment from a ship yard owned by ex-militant leader, Chief Government Ekpomukpolo alias “Tompolo”.
Outgoing Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command (FOC) Central Naval Command Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Rear Admiral Saleh Usman made the disclosure yesterday at the end of farewell parade organised by the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS Delta), Warri, Delta State.
He said the Navy had concluded investigations on the alleged involvement of the ratings and had set up a court martial committee to try the suspects.
Usman, who was accompanied by the Commander, NNS Delta, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, assured that if the suspects were eventually guilty, they will be dismissed and handed over to the police for prosecution.
“We all know that there is no institution without bad eggs. To ensure the image of the Navy is not soiled, we have instituted a martial committee to try the suspects. They are currently in detention now, so if after their trial and they are found guilty, we will dismiss and hand them over to the police for prosecution”, he said.
The police in Warri had about three weeks ago arrested three persons, including a naval personnel at the ship yard located along NPA Expressway, Warri siezed by the federal government and secured by the Navy.
THISDAY gathered that the navy took custody of the naval personnel while further investigations by NNS Delta led to arrest of two others allegedly involved in the theft.
The two other civilians are with the police.
“In the next two weeks, the court martial will start sitting and the
outcome of the trial will be made public, that I can assure you. We will not cover anybody up. We have our integrity to protect too,” FOC said.
Addressing Officers and ratings, Usman urged them to shun partisan politics as the country approaches the 2019 general elections.
“As members of the armed forces, we must show supreme respect to our constitution and loyalty to constituted authorities.
“The democratic system of government is vital for Nigeria if we aspire to be part of globalisation and the attendant development. I, therefore, urge you to shun partisan politics as we approach the 2019 generalelections”, he said.