Give Us Power To Prosecute Crude Oil Thieves, Others – Nigerian Navy



The Nigerian Navy, NN yesterday, requested for a temporary approval from the  legislative arm of government to  prosecute crude oil thieves and other sea  criminals, pending when such approval would be passed into law, with a view to fast tracking the dispensation of justice.

Already, the Navy according to the Chief of Naval Staff,CNS, Vice Admiral Usman Jubrin, had written to seek permission from the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation to this effect without any response.

Lamenting the effect of the delay in judgement of sea criminals on the Service, Jubrin, who was in Lagos state  to commission some projects under the Western Naval Command, to  signal the end of the week-long programme marking the 59th anniversary of the NN, disclosed that  already jetties were being damaged by seized ships.

According to him: “ When these criminals are arrested and handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,EFCC; The Nigeria  Police or the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, they are taken to court. But  we don’t get prompt judgement . Sometimes these arrested  ships create problem for us.  For instance ,where  we berth them  will reduce the length of sea room for other ships to ply the waterways , especially within the channels. Our jetties are now being damaged by these ships.

“As if that is not enough, on each ship we deploy an officer and a minimum of four of Ratings. On  daily basis we also  pay to maintain them. This, I must tell you was never budgeted for . That is why as much as possible, we want quick dispensation of justice.

“We have written to seek  permission from Ministry of Justice  but we have not  got that because  it needs the constitutional amendment before that is given to us. The  area  we are dealing with now is how to push it forward to the National Assembly,  so that they will look and see if that is still a possibility.

“But if that is not quick enough, we are asking for a temporary approval for us to take these criminals to court on our own  . If  the EFCC, Nigerian Police and the NSCDC  have this capacity, we have lawyers also.  The most astonishing part of the problem is that here is a ship with stolen products , who then is wasting whose time in delivering judgement.?

He was however quick to exonerate his officers and men  from the drastic drop  in crude oil  which figures  according to the Oil Producers Section ,OPTS  report  showed a  sharp reduction at  400 barrel  per day  as against 2.4 million barrel five months ago.


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