The Nigeria Navy in
Lagos NNS Beeroft
has arrested seven suspected stowaways in a foreign vessel bound for Spain.
The suspects, Kwekwu Asamua, John Okhian, Joe Mcyee, Ibrahim Sola, Ikechukwu Obi, Maxwell Madu and Papa Omomobi were said to have sneaked on board, MT Electra Bari, which berthed to discharged petroleum products at a tank farm in Apapa.
The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command (WNC), Apapa, Rear Admiral Jonathan Ango, told newsmen in Lagos at the weekend that the NNS Ikot-Abasi arrested the suspects.
During interrogation it was discovered that the alleged suspects boarded the vessel while it was discharging its products and their intention was to follow the vessel to Holland. It was while in Togo, it discovered some strange people onboard and established communication with NNS Ikot-Abasi. They now affected the arrest of seven stowaways.
According to him, after preliminary investigation, the suspects have been transferred to the Nigeria Immigration Service for further interrogation and prosecution.
Ango, further explained that the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jubrin, had zero tolerance for all Maritime crimes within Nigeria’s space, calling on criminally-minded elements to seek legitimate employment instead of engaging in untoward activities.
The Tide investigations revealed that the captain of the vessel was said to have detected the stowaways and drawn the attention of the commander of NNS Beecroft, Commodore Tekumo Ikoli.
In his confession to our correspondent, one of the suspects, Asamua claimed that this would be his second attempt after the first to enter Europe illegally.
Responding, the representative of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Supt Oloruntoba Gabriel of the Marine Command, while receiving the suspect, commended the Navy for a job well done, adding that investigations would continue with a view to ascertain their claims of nationalities before prosecution.
Mcdominic Mkpomemie, Lagos