A Dutch defence, shipbuilding, and engineering group has sent a petition to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr Kayode Egbetokun, accusing NUE Offshore Resources Limited – a company based in Lagos, and its Managing Director, one Uyi Igbinigie of alleged armed robbery against its ship anchored at the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) jetty in Warri, Delta State.
The petition, dated 4 February 2024, was submitted to the office of the Inspector General of Police on 5 February 2024 on behalf of Damen Charter International Limited by its Solicitors, Adepetun, Caxton-Martins, Agbor & Segun.
A copy of the petition, titled, “REPORT OF A CASE OF ARMED ROBBERY AGAINST ONE MR. UYI IGBINIGIE AND NUE OFFSHORE RESOURCES LIMITED”, sighted by this newspaper, stated that the ship robbery incident took place on February 2, 2024.
Recounting the events that led to the alleged robbery incident, the petition stated that Damen, as owner of the Fast Crew Supplier 1605 Aluminium vessel named MV NUE Swift, had in 2019 entered into an agreement with NUE, represented by its Managing Director, Uyi Igbinigie, for the charter and hire-purchase of the vessel, but after taking delivery of the vessel from Damen, NUE consistently failed to pay the monthly installments it was obligated to pay to Damen as purchase price of the vessel, despite several demands for payment by Damen.
“Consequently, Damen terminated the charterparty/hire-purchase agreement and sought to repossess the vessel in accordance with the provisions of the charterparty/hire-purchase agreement.
“NUE and Mr. Uyi Igbinigie, however, hid the vessel and frustrated Damen’s efforts to repossess it. Damen commenced a suit at the Federal High Court, Warri Division and obtained an Order for the arrest of the vessel.
“The vessel was eventually traced and arrested with the assistance of the Nigerian Navy, and in accordance with the Order of Court, placed under the guard of the Nigerian Navy for safe keeping while under arrest.
“Damen subsequently discontinued the suit at the Federal High Court and secured the release of the vessel from arrest. Following the release of the vessel from arrest of court, Damen repossessed the vessel on 22 November 2023.
“After settling the costs and expenses incurred by the Nigerian Navy for safeguarding the vessel while under arrest, the Nigerian Navy handed the vessel over to the Admiralty Marshal of the Federal High Court, who in turn handed the vessel over to Damen on 1 February 2024.
“Damen then shifted the vessel to the National Inland Waterways Authority’s (NIWA) Jetty in Warri and handed it over to the Delta Area Office of NIWA for safe keeping,” the petition reads.