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Navy intercept another barge with 1m litres of stolen diesel



Naval Forces in Rivers said they have intercepted a large barge used in transporting about a million litres of diesel.

The feat was achieved weeks after a similar one was intercepted by naval operatives in Rivers waterways.

The barge, Dantech II, was suspected to have lifted the diesel from illicit refining facilities, which mainly operated in thick and swampy mangrove forests in the Niger Delta.

Nigeria News Agency reports that operators of illegal refineries steal crude oil by breaking and connecting secondary pipes into pipelines operated by government and multinational oil companies.

Commander Tumi Ogunkoya, Navy Officer In-Charge of Federal Ocean Terminal Onne, Rivers, who led newsmen to the barge in Onne on Thursday, did not disclose the volume of diesel onboard Dantech II.

However, a reliable security source, with inside knowledge of the seizure, told NAN that the barge had about 1 million litres of adulterated diesel on it.

Ogunkoya said the barge was intercepted on March 29 by troops manning the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder gunboats, following intelligence gathering on operators of the barge.

“At the time of arrest, the barge was laden with unspecified quantity of substance suspected to be illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (diesel).

“Consequently, the barge was towed to the NNS Pathfinder holding bay at Federal Ocean Terminal Onne for safekeeping and investigation,” he said.

Ogunkoya said no arrest was made as operators of the barges fled the scene on sighting advancing naval forces during the raid on Agip waterfront.

According to him, naval investigators have concluded their investigation having spent over three months establishing different leads into the matter.

He explained: “So, on completion of our investigation, the naval headquarters directed that the barge be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigation.

“The navy urges perpetrators of these illicit acts to have a rethink and desist from committing maritime crimes before the long arm of the law catches up with them,” he warned.

The navy commander said that troops would continue to carry out 24-hour patrol as well as maintain presence at flash points in the about 33,000 creeks in the Niger Delta.


Admiral Ekwe lauds Navy for successes in National economy



Rear Admiral Obono Ekwe (Rtd), has commended the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) of the Nigerian Navy for maintaining a steady presence at sea thereby ensuring maritime security and economic prosperity.

Ekwe said the command under the leadership of the Flag Officer Commanding ENC, Rear Adm. David Adeniran, had recorded successes in the reduction of illegal bunkers and refinery operations, oil theft, pipeline vandalism, smuggling and piracy.

Ekwe, who was the special guest of honour, gave the commendation in Calabar during the Ceremonial Sunset as part of the activities to mark the 64th anniversary of the Nigerian Navy.

According to Ekwe, the efforts of the ENC had led to the arrest of numerous vessels and the seizure of petroleum products as well as metric tons of crude oil.

He added that the command had also destroyed illegal refineries to dissuade illegalities in the maritime sector.

The ENC has performed excellently well. Therefore, I encourage all personnel to keep it up and have an operational reflection and ponder on the operational antecedents recorded so far as well as challenges faced by the command in the past in order to proffer the way forward,” he said.

He explained that the “Ceremonial Sunset”, also known as the “Retreat Call”, is a solemn ceremony which involves the bugle call as well as hoisting and lowering of flags which signal the end of a day and beginning of a new day.

Retired Admiral Ekwe noted that series of activities were lined up to celebrate the Navy week which include distribution of palliatives and personnel protective equipment as well as commissioning of sickbay at the Headquarters of ENC.

“I am also aware that other activities that marked the Navy week were the commissioning of the remodeled Otiko and Saidu Girls’ Hostel at Nigerian Navy secondary school, Borokiri, and 20 capacity Boys’ hostel in Nigerian Navy secondary school Akpabuyo.

“Over the years, I have closely monitored the activities of the ENC under Rear Adm. Adeniran and I discovered that the command has conducted various operations and administrative functions.

Ceremonial Sunset is usually elaborate, but this year’s celebration is distinct and low keyed due to the global pandemic.

“I have observed with joy, the number of attendees as well as the number of Guard of Honour and Navy band that participated in the skeletal parade. All these are in conformity with the Federal Government directives on measures to curb Covid-19 pandemic”, he said.

In his goodwill message, Real Adm. Taiye Imam, the Chief Staff Officer of ENC, said the ceremony was part of the activities marking the 64th anniversary of the Nigerian Navy

Imam commended the FOC for keeping the flag flying and for making the ENC the most operational command in the Nigerian Navy.

“I want to specially thank the FOC for all the support he has given us the officers, the ratings and civilian staff of the ENC”, he said.

The News Agency of reports that Service Commanders at the event include, Commandant of Nigerian Army Amphibious Training School, Brig.-Gen. Joshua Nimmyel, Commander of 305 Special Mobility Group of the Nigerian Airforce Calabar, Group Capt. Ibraham Sule and the Commander 13 Brigade Nigerian Army Calabar, Brig.Gen Thomas Olatoye.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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64th Anniversary: Navy donates food, palliative items to communities in Abuja



The Nigerian Navy on Monday distributed foods items and other palliatives to host communities in Abuja to commemorate its 64th anniversary.

The Navy said this was to support the Federal Government’s efforts to cushion the effect of COVID-19 and as part of activities to mark the Service 64th anniversary.

The exercise took place in Kuje and Abuja Municipal Area Councils

The News Agency of Nigerian reports that the Force also distributed some Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as well as hand sanitizers.

Rear Admiral Jatau Luka, the Director of Administration, Naval Headquaters, represented the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, at the event.

Speaking during the occasion, Ibas said the palliatives were aimed at reaching out to vulnerable communities.

” Today rounds up the low keyed activities of the 64th Anniversary of the Nigerian Navy which started last week with distribution of palliatives and inauguration of projects by the Commands.

In general, the Nigerian Navy week serves as an opportunity for introspection and reflection as well as merriment which will be lacking this year due to the prevailing COVID-19 Pandemic.

” In rounding off the 2020 Nigerian Navy(NN) Week, the NN was expected to observe one of its major tradition which is the conduct of medical outreach in communities that host NN formations and establishments.

” However, due to the prevailing public health environment, arising from the occurrences of the COVID-19 Pandemic, this effort could be quite challenging within the extant framework to curb the virus spread.

Therefore, the CNS has directed for the conduct of palliative distribution to members of the public in host communities within the FCT.

” This underscores the commitment of the NN to its corporate social responsibility as well as support to the efforts of the Federal Government in mitigating the impact of the pandemic on the less privileged citizens.

” Arising from the foregoing, the Nigerian Navy is here to donate palliatives to the vulnerable Nigerians residing in Kuje and Jiwa Communities,” he said.

The CNS reiterated the commitment of the Navy to sustain the relationship between the Force and the communities and prayed that the relationship continues.

He also acknowledge the warm and cordial relationship between the Nigerian Navy and the Kuje and Jiwa Communities.

Ibas said the Navy is hopeful that the relationship will continue to deepen progressively for improved national security.

In his response, the Chief of Kuje (Gomo of Kuje), HRH Haruna Jubrin, commended the Nigerian Navy for providing the communities with the palliatives.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)



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COVID-19: Navy inaugurates 40 bed space isolation centre in Lagos



The Nigerian Navy (NN) on Monday  inaugurated a 40-bed-space isolation centre at the Naval Dockyard in Lagos State, for its   personnel who might  test  positive for Coronavirus disease .

The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Ibok-Ette Ibas, was represented by Rear Adm. Oladele Daji, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command at the inauguration.


Ibas said that the centre would be used to isolate positive but asymtomatic persons, saying that it was part of NN’s proactive measures to curb the spread of the virus.


The Nigerian Navy  identified the need for increase its  isolation centres as a proactive measure toward quick response to the  COVID-19 management.


“Especially in situations where other facilities are overwhelmed with high number of patients ,this 40-bed isolation centre which we are about to  put to use immediately is part of the contributions of the Nigerian Navy to the fight against the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.


“The isolation centre will be used to isolate positive but asymtomatic persons under strict guidance of trained medical personnel with technical support from the Lagos State Government,” he said.


He said that as there was an increase in exposure to the virus, there was  also an  increase in the number of confirmed cases, thereby causing isolation centres to be limited.


“An increase in exposure to the virus will lead to an increase in the number of confirmed positive cases.


“Therefore, the  management of positive cases includes the  isolation of the infected persons to reduce the chances of further spread in the community.


“Isolation centres have been established across the country to isolate and manage  confirmed cases,however, as more cases are confirmed, there arises the need for more centres for the isolation of people to reduce the risk of further transmission,” he said.


He said  the NN could not afford to take any chances,  especially, looking at how compacted their ships were.


“From what we have been hearing, somebody can have the virus but asymptomatic, that means it is possible that it can be spread to others.


“And you know by the nature of our work-space in the ship ,which is enclosed compartment, we can’t afford to have a high rate of such,” he said.


He said that the NN had been in contact with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Lagos,  since the project was conceived, saying that the NN would continue to contribute its quota to ensure that the pandemic was curtailed soon.


“Since this project was conceived, up till the commissioning, the NCDC  is in support of the NN policy for the health care need of personnel as championed by the CNS.


The NN will continue with this type of programme where necessary in  other parts of the country where we have a high concentration of naval personnel,” he said.


The CNS also used the opportunity to seek God’s guidance over naval  personnel and the Armed Forces in general.


As the NN celebrates its 64th anniversary, we pray that God Almighty continues to shower his blessings upon all our sailors, families, the leadership of the NN and the armed forces,” he said.


The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a tour round the facility showed that each room houses four beds.


NAN also reports that the facility was  divided into two sections where one section would  accommodate those that were not symptomatic.


The other section which housed oxygen ventilators would be  for those that would require some level of management before the arrival of NCDC officials.


The Coronavirus disease popularly known as COVID-19 is a pandemic which had affected virtually every country in the world, the first case in Nigeria was reported on Feb. 27, 2020 in Lagos.


The disease has spread to 35 of the 36 states with 9,202 confirmed cases in Nigeria while Lagos State has  recorded the highest number with 4,337 confirmed cases and 3,585 active cases.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Peter Dada (NAN)


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Navy distributes palliatives to 500 households in Kaduna



The Nigerian Navy School of Armmament Technology, on Monday distributed palliatives to 500 households in Unguwar Ayuba, a community in Kachia Local Government Kaduna State.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the donation was part of activities marking the 64th anniversary of the Nigerian Navy.

It was also meant to cushion the effect of the lockdown imposed by Kaduna State Government to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

Items distributed included rice, vegetable oil, noodles and beans.

The Commandant of the School, Real Admiral Tanko Pani, said the Navy’s 64th anniversary is being marked at a time the nation is struggling to contain the Coronavirus pandemic.

He noted that the pandemic has impacted negatively on the livelihoods of most Nigerians particularly those whose source of income is largely subsistence.

The Ungwan Ayuba community is an agrarian community and the major source of income for members of the

community depends on how easily the people are able to access markets for their agricultural produce.

“The current lockdown occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic has made this difficult.

“It is no longer news that the coronavirus which is a global pandemic has affected the economic outlook of the world especially that of developing nations.

“As part of measures to curb the spread of the virus, the government has issued the stay-at-home order, the use

of nose masks and a ban on religious and social gatherings amongst many others.

“The presence of the virus has caused some form of adjustments to lifestyles which has resulted

to hardships especially for those of you who rely on daily income.

“It is against this backdrop that the Nigerian Navy deemed it fit to ameliorate the plight of the people in the aforementioned category by distributing palliatives to this residents.

“This action demonstrates the empathy, selfless service of the Nigerian Navy to host communities and cordial Civil-Military Relationship for peaceful and mutually beneficial coexistence,” Pani said.

He appreciated the community for its immense support to the school over the years.

“On  behalf of the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS),  I wish to register my deepest appreciation to residents of Kachia and environs for their support to the Nigerian Navy.

“I appeal to you to continue to collaborate with us in order to collectively tackle the various security challenges in your communities.

“It is our expectation that the distribution of these palliative items will further cement the existing cordial Civil Military Relationship.

“Therefore, I acknowledge the support of the leaders of Ungwan Ayuba community for their incalculable support to the Nigerian Navy over the years,” he added.

Pani urged the residents to adhere strictly to the guidelines issued by the Federal Government on the containment

of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Commandant also acknowledged the support of Kaduna state government to the School and the Nigerian Navy in general.

Responding, the ward head of Unguwar Ayuba, Mr Ayuba Bala, appreciated the gesture of the Navy and pledged that the community would continue to support the efforts of security agencies toward sustainable peace and stability in the area.

Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Navy reaches out to households in Ogun community



The Nigerian Navy through the Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC) on Saturday reached out to another set of 250 households in Ota as part of its 64th anniversary.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that items contained in the palliatives include rice, beans, vegetable oil, condiments, hand sanitisers, gloves and face masks.

Rear Adm. Idowu Yusuf, the Acting Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) of NAVTRAC was in the community on behalf of the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) and the new FOC of NAVTRAC.

Yusuf accompanied by senior naval officers paid a courtesy visit to the palace of the Olota of Ota Land.

He also proceeded to the palace of the Baale of Idota Titun Land in Otun Ota where the palliatives were presented.

He said that the palliatives was to appreciate one of its host communities which host the Navy School of Music during this pandemic period.

He said that the gesture also represented part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and to improve the Civil-Military relation.

The Nigerian Navy traditionally celebrates its Anniversary with fanfare and pageant commencing with the activities at the end of May every year climaxing in the Navy Day on June 1.

“The week-long Anniversary celebration provides an opportunity for showcasing the various achievements of the NN and to demonstrate the Navy’s capabilities.

“Several host communities were selected by the Chief of Naval Staff to appreciate the outstanding cooperation and collaboration given to the NN,” he said.

Yusuf said that the global pandemic made the Navy to modify this anniversary which resulted to giving palliatives communities.

“The current global COVID-19 pandemic affecting the country has made the NN to modify this year’s celebrations.

“This informed the selection of Idota Tuntun Community as one of the several communities to benefit from the CNS palliatives to alleviate hardship caused by this global pandemic on our citizens.

“The palliatives is designed to assist 250 households with assorted food, PPE. I want to reiterate that COVID-19 is real.

“Consequently some of the active measures to curtail the virus include washing of hands with soap and water, avoiding touching of face, nose or eyes with your hands and maintaining social distance,” he said.

The Acting FOC, however, appreciated the contribution of Olota of Ota and the various Baales for the cordial relationship enjoyed by the Commanding Officer and the staff of the Navy.

Abdulkareem Odunaro, the Onikotun of Otun Ota, who represented the Olota of Ota, Oba Abdulkabir Obalanlege, appreciated the Navy for remembering his community.

The NN has always been there for us. We appreciate the NN for remembering us, it’s one of the biggest since we have been receiving palliatives.

“We want to appreciate the CNS, the FOC of NAVTRAC for reaching out to us,” he said.

NAN reports that the Western Naval Command had also reached out to two host communities of Imoore and Alayabiagba in Lagos state.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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COVID-19: Navy gives palliative to another host Lagos community



The Nigerian Navy (NN) has given palliative to another set of 340 households in Alayabiagba community in Ajeromi/Ifelodun Local Government Area in Lagos state in commemoration of its 64th anniversary.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the items include rice, beans, vegetable oil, condiments and face masks.

Rear Adm. Murtala Bashir, the Chief Staff Officer, Western Naval Command (WNC), who represented the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) led the delegates to the palace of the Baale of Apapa Alayabiagba.

He said that the Navy was a responsible and responsive organisation that puts its host host communities into consideration.

The CSO said that the NN recognised its host communities, saying that they were partners in progress and the palliatives were also a way of meeting up their Corporate Social Responsibility.

“Navy is a responsible and responsive organisation that takes into consideration the partnership of the host communities especially the general populace in carrying out our activities.

“We have a role to impact in their lives and they also have a responsibility to assist us in our operations.

“So, we see this as an opportunity to always  impact in the live of our host communities. Due to the  COVID-19 pandemic associated hardship, we need to reach out to the most vulnerables,” he added

He said that all the Commands were also reaching out to other host communities, saying that Western Naval Command had reached out to two host communities.

“Actually, the activities are running concurrently in other Commands, Eastern, Central and other bases and the centre at Abuja, in Lagos.

“Yesterday we were at Ijegun/Amuwo community; Navy Town barracks and we had the same food items and we are here today in this community,” he said.

Bashir also admonished the community on the need to adhere to the guidelines laid down by the Presidential task force on measures to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yayah Adeshina-Ojora, the Baale of the community, commended the Navy for reaching out to his community.

“We thank God for the Nigerian Navy for what they are doing for our people because this is another Navy Town. We appreciate what they are doing.

“This particular one is special because the NN came in another way, the other time, it was with free medical assistance.

“But today, they came because of the after-effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching out to the less privileged,” he said.

NAN reports that the 690 households received the palliative

The week long activities which began on May 22 will end on June 1.

Edited By: Angela Okisor/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Navy appoints 110 senior officers



The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas, has approved new appointments of some senior officers in the Nigerian Navy.

The Navy Director of Information, Commodore Suleman Dahun, made this known in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

He said the major reshufflement affected 110 senior officers, consisting of 33 Rear Admirals and 77 Commodores.

Dahun said the new Chief of Policy and Plans Naval Headquarters is Rear Adm. Ifeola Mohammed.

He said Rear Adm. Obi Ofodile, formerly Director of Plans, Defence Headquarters, has been reappointed to Defence Headquarters as Chief of Defence Administration.

While Rear Adm. Matthew Emuekpere, formerly Deputy Commandant, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, moves to Naval Headquarters as Chief of Naval Transformation.

Rear Adm. Ahamefule Eluwa, who was a Directing Staff at National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru-Jos, resumes as Admiral Superintendent, Naval Doctrine and Assessment Centre,” he said.

Dahun said the re-organisation also affected Rear Adm. Segun Adebari, who has been posted to Defence Headquarters as Director of Plans from Nigerian Navy Holdings Limited.

He said Rear Adm. Abubakar Al-Hassan, formerly Director of Development, Defence Headquarters, has been appointed as Admiral Superintendent, Naval Ordnance Depot, while Rear Adm. Francis Isaac is the new Navy Secretary at Naval Headquarters.

Also Rear Adm. Abdullahi Adamu, the immediate past Admiral Superintendent, Naval Ordnance Depot, moves to Defence Headquarters as Director of Search and Rescue.

Rear Adm. Maurice Eno, who was the Admiral Superintendent, Naval Doctrine and Assessment Centre, has been posted to Defence Headquarters as Director of Development.

Rear Adm. Frederick Ogu, formerly Navy Secretary, Naval Headquarters, is the new Flag Officer, Commanding Naval Training Command,” he said.

Dahun said Surgeon Rear Adm. Lawan Adams is now the new Director, Medical Services of the Nigerian Navy, while Rear Adm. Abraham Adaji, who was the Director of Training, Naval Headquarters, resumes as Group Managing Director of Nigerian Navy Holdings Limited.

He said Rear Adm. Elkanah Jaiyeola, formerly Fleet Commander, Headquarters Western Fleet, has been appointed as Moderator at NIPSS, Kuru, Jos.

Similarly, Rear Adm. Baribuma Kole, formerly Fleet Commander, Eastern Fleet, is now the Director of Foreign Liaison Desk at Naval Headquarters.

Rear Adm. Ibikunle Olaiya, the immediate past Director of Operations, Naval Headquarters, is the new Chief of Training and Operations, Naval Headquarters, while Rear Adm. Othaniel Filafa moves to Naval Headquarters as Director of Veteran Affairs,” he said.

He said Rear Adm. Akinga Ayafa has been reappointed Director, Recruitment, Release and Reserve at Naval Headquarters, while Rear Adm. Nuhu Bala resumes at Naval Headquarters as Director of Transformation.

Rear Adm. Barabutemegha Gbassa, formerly the Chief Staff Officer, Headquarters Logistics Command, has been posted to Defence Headquarters as Director of Project Monitoring.

Rear Adm. Sileranda Lassa, the immediate past Director of Project Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate at Naval Headquarters is the new Flag Officer, Commanding Logistics Command.

Rear Adm. Danjuma Moses has been appointed as the Fleet Commander, Headquarters Western Fleet, while Rear Adm. Muhammad Nagenu is now the Director, Project Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate at Naval Headquarters,” he said.

Dahun said Rear Adm. Vincent Okeke, formerly Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) VICTORY, has been appointed as Director of Education, Defence Headquarters.

“Similarly, the new postings moved Rear Adm. Yakubu Wambai from Defence Headquarters to Naval Headquarters as Director of Training,

While Rear Adm. Emmanuel Beckley has been reappointed Director, Combat Policy and Tactics at Naval Headquarters,” he said.

He said Rear Adm. Perry Onwuzulike resumes as the Fleet Commander, Headquarters Eastern Fleet, while Rear Adm. Murtala Bashir, formerly the Chief Staff Officer, Headquarters Western Naval Command, moves to Naval Headquarters as Director of Operations.

Dahun also said Rear Adm. Tanko Pani is now the Chief Staff Officer, Headquarters Western Naval Command, while Rear Adm. Chukwu Okafor has been reappointed to the Naval Headquarters as the Hydrographer of the Nigerian Navy.

“In another development, Rear Adm. Ibrahim Dewu, formerly Commander, NNS DELTA, resumes as Managing Director, Nigerian Navy Hotel and Suites Limited,

While Rear Adm. Monday Unurhiere, the immediate past Commander, NNS JUBILEE, becomes the Deputy Commandant, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji,” he said.

He said the former Commandant, Nigerian Naval College, Onne, Rear Adm. Joseph Akpan, resumes at Naval Headquarters (Naval Safety and Standards) as Director, Records Return and Analysis.

Dahun added that Rear Adm. Olumuyiwa Olotu, who was Commander, NNS LUGARD, is the new Chief Staff Officer, Headquarters Logistics Command.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Navy distributes palliatives to 350 households in Imoore community in Lagos



As part of the activities to commemorate the 64th anniversary of the Nigerian Navy (NN), the Force on Thursday reached out to 350 households with palliatives in Imoore Community in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that items distributed, to cushion the effect of the lockdown against the COVID-19 pandemic, include rice, beans, noodles vegetable oil, condiments and face mask.

Rear Adm. Oladele Daji, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command (WNC) represented the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ette Ibas, at the event.

He said that the gesture was a display of empathy and selfless service by the Navy to the host community as well as the cordial civil-military relationship for peaceful and mutually beneficial co-existence.

“We made provision to reach at least 350 households.

“We have beans, rice, you know that the children love noodles, vegetable oil, condiments, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like face masks,’’ he said.

Daji said that Imoore was chosen because of the cordial relationship between the community and the NN.

“We picked this community because this is the host community to Navy Town.

Navy Town is the largest naval barrack in Nigeria.

“It was this community that gave us the land to establish that barracks even before I was born,’’ he said.

The FOC, while appreciating members of the public for their support, also appealed to other residents of Lagos to cooperate with the NN and other security agencies in fighting criminalities.

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Navy hands over 42 suspected cultists to C/River Gov’t



The Nigerian Navy Victory Ship (NNVS) has handed over 42 suspected cultists to the Cross River Government for onward investigation and prosecution.

Briefing newsmen on Tuesday in Calabar, the Commander of NNVS, Rear Admiral Vincent Okeke, said the suspects were arrested on Sunday through a tip off by concerned individuals.

Okeke, who was represented by Capt. Ibrahim Gwaska, said the Navy standby team was informed that the suspects were gathered in Akpabuyo local government area of the state for initiation and other activities.

According to him, intelligence gathering revealed that it was evidently clear that there was going to be a clash between the Klans and Black Axe confraternities.

“We are here to do a routine handover of 42 suspects to the Cross River Government representative.

“Accordingly, the base responded through a tip off and cordoned the area in Akpabuyo. In that raid, we arrested 61 suspected cultists.

“On arrival, preliminary investigations were been conducted and having concluded the investigation, 42 out of the arrested 61 persons were confirmed to be cultists accordingly.

“It is on this regard that we will be handing over the suspects to the state government and officials of the Anti-Cultism and Kidnapping Unit for onward investigation and prosecution,” he said.

In the same vein, on May 24, the navy also arrested a wooden boat laden with 130 drums of palm oil smuggled from Cameroon alongside 10 suspects

The State Security Adviser, Southern Senatorial District, Mr Ani Esin, who received the suspected cultists, commended the Navy for a successful operation.

Esin, said that the Navy acted swiftly on the tip off that was given to them.

“As a state government, we are doing our best in ensuring that the issue of cultism is dealt with squarely.

“We are going to hand over the suspects to the relevant security agency for onward investigation and prosecution.

“For few days now, we have been on operation with other security agencies in making sure that all suspected cultists are arrested and prosecuted accordingly,” he said.

Esin thereafter, handed over the suspects to an official of the Anti-Cultism and kidnapping Squad, Mr Ogini Chukwuma for onward prosecution.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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