to January in the state.
Captain Peter Yilme, Commanding Officer of FOB disclosed this while handing over the suspects and items to the Nigeria Custom Service (NCS), on Tuesday in Mbo Local Government Area of the state.
Yime said the command would remain steadfast in fighting illegalities on the waterways in line with the directive of the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Ibok Ibas.
He, however, said that some of the suspects escaped on sighting the Navy gunboats.
He said that the arrests were made along the Unyenge, Effiat and Mendoro creeks between Dec. 2019 and January by Navy officers and men on routine patrol in their gunboats.
“I handover 1, 439 bags of rice and six suspects to the Superintendent of Customs, Garuba Hassan in line with the directives of the Chief of Naval Staff.
“We are committed to rid the waterways of all forms of illegalities.
“I commend the untiring efforts of the officers and ratings in ensuring the mandate and tasks of the Base are achieved.
“I also appreciate the immense effort of the Chief of Naval Staff, for providing the necessary platform and logistics support for the Base to carry out its operations,” he said.
One of the suspects, Wede John, from Bayelsa, said that he normally transport fish and was carrying rice for the first time when he was arrested.
He said, “I don’t know the owner of the rice and didn’t know that rice was loaded into the boat. This is my first time of carrying rice.
“I usually transport crayfish and dry fish to Oron Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom. I was carrying rice from Bakassi to Unyenge when I was arrested,” he said.
Another suspect, Awagoyi Philp, a boat driver said the owner of the rice promised to pay him N20,000 for carrying the rice but that he was yet to collect the money.
He said, “I drive boats and I was paid to drive the boat that carried the rice. This is my first time. The owner of the rice promised to pay me N 20, 000 and is aware that I have been arrested”.
Edited by: Joseph Edeh/Ekemini Ladejobi
Exercise Sahel Sanity receiving full community support -Army
Exercise Sahel Sanity, an offshoot of the military Operation Hadarin Daji, is receiving unprecedented support from communities in the north west, says the Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig. Gen. Bernard Onyeuko.
Onyeuko stated this at a media briefing at the 1 Brigade Headquarters of the Nigerian Army in Gusau on Wednesday.
He said communities have been giving credible information leading to the killing of bandits and destruction of their camps.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai launched the Exercise Sahel Sanity on July 6.
The operation was charged to weed out unrepentant bandits in the theatre areas of Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara States.
Onyeuko said a lot of successes were recorded between July 12 and July 15, including the arrest of an alleged bandits’ informer, Malam Lawal Modu, at Mararaba Dan Ali village.
He said troops in Jangebe village in Zamfara also followed a credible tip off, tracked and arrested another suspect.
The troops recovered one AK 47 rifle, one magazine with 27 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 2 mobile phones, MP3 player and a motorcycle key while the two suspects were being investigated.
In another development, troops of FOB Maga-Kyabu-Tadurga-Ribah arrested two members of Yan Sakai group and recovered two dane guns from them.
The troops, following a distress call on armed bandits attempting to rustle animals at Kasele village in Batsari LGA of Katsina State, mobilized to the area and foiled the attempt, while the bandits fled as the troops closed in on them.
The animals were later handed over to the owner.
Onyeuko further stated that troops of Combat Team-1 had an encounter with armed bandits at Komani Hills within Rukudawa general area of Zamfara state.
“The bandits were dislodged after a heavy shoot out supported by attack helicopters.
“At the end of the encounter six bandits were neutralized, 1 GPMG, 1AK 47, 1 AK 47 magazine and 34 motorcycles were recovered and destroyed in the process,” he said.
He appealed to the communities to continue to come up with credible information against suspicious movements so that quick action could be taken.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
Navy distributes palliatives, sanitizers to C/River communities
The Eastern Naval Command (ENC) of the Nigerian Navy has distributed palliatives which includes rice, noodles, groundnut oil, face mask and sanitisers to communities in Cross River.
The Chief Staff Officer of ENC, Rear Adm. Taiye Imam, made the presentation to representatives of various communities on Monday in Calabar.
Imam explained that the gesture was also part of the activities lined up to commemorate Navy’s 64th anniversary.
“In line with the global pandemic, the Navy recognises the fact that there are many Nigerians who are finding it difficult to survive.
“So, this is one of Navy’s initiatives to alleviate the sufferings of the most vulnerable in the communities, particularly in areas where we are operating.
“Essentially, our role as outlined in the constitution of the Federal Government is that we provide defence for the federation in the maritime area.
“We are more committed more than ever to provide security for the people to carry on with their economic activities,” he said.
He assured the host communities that the Navy will continue to remember them in its their activities.
Mr Orok Etim-Okon, another beneficiary from Nyagasang community, said the Navy had demonstrated goodwill towards its host communities.
He added that the people of the community felt honoured to be remembered by the Navy in the area of palliatives.
Earlier, the Flag Officer Commanding ENC, Rear Adm. David Adeniran, presented the Command’s commendation medals to naval personnel for their distinguished career service.
The FOC presented a Silver Medal to Surgeon Commander Uchenna Okeke, who is the Commander of Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital Calabar for sustaining quality of healthcare in the hospital.
Mubarak was said to have returned fire in the defence of himself and passersby and his courage and marksmanship led to the killing of the 5-man gang and seizure of their weapons.
A Petty Officer, Inuwa Rangak, also received commendation for professional conduct as Personal Assistant to the FOC and for loyalty and prowess in handling the movement of correspondences in the secretariat.
“The Gold Medal is for personnel that distinguished themselves for bravery and gallantry, while Silver Medal is for officers that distinguish themselves in carrying out assigned task or responsibilities.
“The Bronze Medal is for any rating that exceptionally distinguish himself in service,” he said.
NAN reports that a total of one Gold Medal, Seven Silvers for officers and 15 Bronze for ratings were presented.
United States Navy veteran leaves Iran after nearly two-year custody
United States Navy veteran Michael White, who had been detained in Iran for almost two years, was released by Iran and on his way back to the United States, according to a statement issued by his family on Thursday.
“For the past 683 days my son, Michael, has been held hostage in Iran by the IRGC (Islamic Revolution Guards Corps) and I have been living in a nightmare. I am blessed to announce that the nightmare is over, and my son is safely on his way home,” Michael White‘s mother said in the statement.
United States President Donald Trump later confirmed White’s release, saying the Navy veteran had left Iranian airspace aboard a Swiss plane. He also expressed his gratitude to the assistance of Switzerland, which represents United States interest in Iran.
The release of White came a day after Sirous Asgari, an Iranian scientist detained by the U.S. government, had returned to Iran. U.S. officials insisted that it was not a prisoner exchange and two cases were not linked.
Relations between the United States and Iran have become increasingly hostile since the Trump administration’s unilateral exit from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018. Washington has been mounting pressure on Tehran through a series of sanctions. Iran has maintained a tough stance and scaled back its nuclear commitments in response.
Alleged oil theft : DPR hands over 9 vessels to Navy, EFCC
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) said nine vessels allegedly involved in oil theft had been handed over to the Nigerian Navy and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mr Sarki Auwalu, Director, DPR, made the disclosure on Wednesday during an online interactive session with the media on topical issues in the oil and gas industry.
Auwalu said the DPR had initiated Crude Oil and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Tracking (COLT) to track vessels coming in or going out of the country in order to curb oil theft.
“They are under the Western Naval Command. We have arrested several vessels and some of the vessels are for oil thieves.
“We are working with the Nigerian Navy and we quickly alert the Navy whenever we see any suspicious vessel during surveillance,” he said.
Auwalu said that other measures were being implemented by the regulatory agency to improve accountability in the oil and gas sector, which include the National Production Monitoring System (NPMS) that focuses on data gathering.
“We have been able to track online/real time data of what our productions are and so we are now in the position to say what is the production done by this country.
“All our fields are largely tracked online now. So, it is not true that Nigeria cannot account for what it is producing, be it crude oil or gas, ” he said.