The Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Ibusa, yesterday handed over a seized vessel, MT Itiri, it arrested for maritime illegalities to the International Police of the Nigerian Police Force.
Confirming the handover, the Commanding Officer, NNS Beecroft, Commodore Ovenseri Uwadaie, said the vessel was arrested at the Lagos road stead in connection with a hijack incidence off Pennington Terminal in the nation’s waterways.
The navy alleged that the vessel was involved in a case of hijack of another vessel, and after it was arrested, investigations began to unravel the truth.
Uwadiae said: “Consequently, NNS Beecroft was directed to take custody of the vessel and after preliminary investigation, Naval Headquarters directed that the vessel be handed over to the INTERPOL Department of the Nigerian Police for further investigations.
“The Nigerian Navy, under the leadership of the current Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin, has zero tolerance for illegalities in Nigerian waters.
“The Nigerian Navy therefore reiterates its drive to make our waterways safe for legitimate businesses to thrive. Consequently, we are using this medium to warn sea pirates and criminal elements in the nation’s waters to desist from nefarious activities or face the consequences as there will be no hiding place for such elements.
“The NN also solicits for information from maritime stockholders and law abiding citizens that could lead to the apprehension of those involved in criminal activities in our waters. It is further affirmed that such information will be treated with utmost confidentiality.”