The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base (FOB), Ibaka, Mbo Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom, has arrested 20 suspects and seized 1, 425 bags of smuggled rice within one week.
The Commanding Officer, FOB, Navy Capt. Peter Yilme disclosed this to newsmen in Ibaka on Tuesday.
Yilme, who was represented by the Base Operations Officer, Lt.-Cdr. Kabiru Yusuf, said that the arrests were made in four different operations between Nov. 12 and Nov. 18.
The Navy Capt. said that its gunboats during patrols on Effiat waterways seized the boats carrying 50kg bags of rice brought in from the Republic of Cameroon.
Yilme, while handing over the suspects and items to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), said the Nigerian Navy has zero tolerance for criminality.
“Four wooden boats carrying a combined 1,425 bags of 50kg parboiled rice suspected to be smuggled into the country and 20 suspects were impounded and arrested by the Forward Operating Base, Ibaka.
“The handover of the 20 suspects and 1,425 bags of rice on Tuesday 19 November, 2019 goes to show the resolve of the Base not to relent on its oars. The arrests were made between November 12 and 18, 2019.
“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, Vice Admiral Ibok E. Ibas for providing the necessary platform and logistic support for the Base to carry out its operations,” he said.
The officer warned smugglers to desist from the act, especially within Foward Operating Base, Ibaka area of operation.
He said the FOB, in the last one month has handed over 3,800 bags of smuggled rice, 60 drums of illegally refined Automated Gas Oil (AGO), and 60 suspects to the Customs component of Operation Swift Response for necessary action.
Receiving the suspects and items, Deputy Superintendent of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Mr Alabi Adedokun commended the Navy for the cooperation existing between the agency.
“On behalf of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), I, Alabi Adedokun take over the 20 suspects and 1,425 bags of rice. On behalf of the Nigeria Customs Service, we thank you very much,” he said.
Edited by Bayo Sekoni/Ismail Abdulaziz
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.
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.
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.
“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
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.