13 Naval Officers Facing General Court Martial for Connivance, Oil Theft Commenced Trial in 2021 – NHQ; As Navy hand’s over 5 suspect’s, 1 Vessel to EFCC for Alleged Bunkering.

The Nigerian Navy on Tuesday gave more details of the General Court Martial holding in Lagos involving 13 of its personnel disclosing that the officers have been undergoing trials for offences bothering on acts of illegality unbecoming of naval personnel committed since 2021.
According the Director of Naval Information, Commodore AO Ayo-Vaughan, “The Court Martial which was duly constituted to try some naval personnel who were alleged to be complicit in oil theft during their tour of duty in the Niger Delta has been in place and not a recent development as being mis-interpreted in certain quarters.
Reiterating that, “The Service frowns seriously at the involvement of her personnel in acts of illegality unbecoming of naval personnel” Commodore Ayo-Vaughan said, “Repeatedly, naval personnel have been warned to steer clear of crude oil theft, oil bunkering and associated crimes under any guise, concealment or circumstance.
“To demonstrate the Nigerian Navy’s zero tolerance for these illegalities and economic crimes, some naval personnel alleged to be involved were charged before a Court Martial around March 2021″, he added

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Navy has handed over a vessel loaded with an unspecified quantity of diesel and five suspects to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The Base Operation Officer of the Nigerian Navy Ship Victory (NNSV), Lt.-Cdr. Clement Ayogu, handed over the vessel and the suspects to an Assistant Superintendent of EFCC from Uyo zone, Mr Inainfe Young-Inainfe.

The Navy said the suspects are four Nigerians and a Venezuelan national.

Ayogu said that the handover was done on behalf of the NNSV Commander, Commodore Ifeanyi Okpala, as directed by the Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Adm. Ibrahim Dewu.

He explained that the arrest was made in relation to the “Operation Dakatar Da Barawo” that was inaugurated by the Navy to fight illegal bunkering and crude oil theft.

Dewu said the vessel named “Edidion AJ” and the suspects were arrested on July 20, 2022 by men of the NNSV on patrol at the Calabar channel.

“At the time of the arrest, the vessel had four crew members from Nigeria and a Venezuelan national.

“The vessel was carrying an unspecified quantity of petroleum product suspected to be illegally refined diesel.

“We have established the fact that the vessel and her crew are complicit in the crime of economic sabotage.

“As a result of that, we are here to hand over the vessel and her crew to EFCC for onward investigation and prosecution,” he said.

Dewu advised members of the public to desist from all forms of criminal activities.

He vowed that the Navy and other security agencies will not spare anyone involved in criminalities.

Responding after receiving the vessel and the suspects, Young-Inainfe, lauded the navy for the arrest.

He said that the synergy between the commission and the Navy had yielded many results in the fight against economic crimes in the country.

“We are taking over the vessel and the crew members; we can assure you that proper investigation would be carried out on the suspects and justice would be done,” he said.

Supports -Agency Report

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