The Nigeria Navy Ship, NNS Delta, says it has arrested seven members of the Coastal Watch & Anti-Seapirate fighters, an illegal security outfit along the creeks in Delta State.
The Commander of the NNS Delta, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu confirmed the arrest to BENGBENRO NEWS on Thursday.
Commodore Dewu, who spoke through the Executive Officer of the Base, Capt. A Adewuyi, also disclosed that the Navy recovered some weapons from seven suspects.
He listed the weapons to include: one locally-made rifle, one pump action gun, 14 cartridges, 30 charms, two machetes and N39,000 believed to have been extorted from market speed boats.
Adewuyi stated that the seven suspects were arrested during a routine patrol by officers and ratings.
He said, “Our patrol team heard gun shots in the creeks and they moved in swiftly and caught them wherein the items were recovered from them.”
Adewuyi said members of the security outfit are not registered anywhere for the job they do in the creeks.
He stressed that, “the Delta State Government does not recognise them.”
Adewuyi noted that the seven suspects were interrogated by the Navy before they were handed over to “Operation Delta Safe” Yenagoa, for further interrogations and possible prosecutions in line with stipulated laws of the land.
Earlier, the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC in Ogbe-Ijoh community in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, in a statement signed by its chairman, Amb. Smart Okosun, raised the alarm that seven members of the Coastal Watch & Anti-Seapirate fighters have been arrested along the Warri Waterways by Officers and ratings of the Nigeria Navy Ship, NNS Delta on May 3.
The IYC gave the names of the seven arrested members of the security outfit as Mr. Amos Aaron, Kenneth Edongha, Oluwa Michael, Joseph Michael, Michael Tubor, Rachael Ikilowei and Stephen Dio.
The IYC said six days after, the whereabouts of those arrested is still unknown, stressing that the arrest of members of the security outfit is a “conspiracy from alleged enemies of Ogbe-Ijoh, Warri to cause havoc and to execute their evil plans in the Ogbe-Ijoh river and communities. We won’t allow this in our jurisdiction.”
It noted that the emergence of the group led to a drastic reduction of piracy, cultism, robbery, kidnapping and other nefarious activities in the waterways.
“It is amazing on how these same security group had held criminals with 200x power boats operating in the river and handed over to the NNS who has now turned to their enemies today.
“Recently, the same boys, handed over some criminals that were operating in the Ogbe-Ijoh river on daily basis to the Nigeria Police, Ogbe-Ijoh Division and the 200x power speed boats and other materials were transferred to Naval bass Warri for official report.
“This is another plan to permit sea piracy, criminality and cultism in the Ogbe-Ijoh river by the NNS.
“This security group is working for the interest of our beloved Kingdom in ensuring crime free environment.
“As a council, we call on all security agents especially the commander HQ operation Delta safe Igbere, Yenagoa Bayelsa State to intervene and give unconditional release of our boys to avoid increase of crime in our jurisdiction.
“The Delta state government should also call the Naval C.O to order for professional security plan over the Ogbe-Ijoh Coastal Watch & Anti-Seapirate Fighters and henceforth, support this group to achieve and to happily address the threats of sea piracy, cultism and kidnapping around the waterways.”