Nigerian Navy intercepts Stowaways, hands them over to NIS


By Abiodun OBA

Eleven Nigerian stowaways fleeing the country hidden in concealed area of a ship the GWANGZHOU Highway Panama vessel have been stopped by operatives of Nigerian patrol ship, NNS BEECROFT.

In a statement on Thursday in Lagos, Commander, NNS BEECROFT, Commodore Kolawole Oguntuga, said the vessel was on its way to Ghana before being intercepted.

Base Information Officer, Sub-Lt. Happiness Collins who signed the statement quoted Oguntuga as saying that the stowaways were discovered in concealed areas of the stern gate of the ship on Oct. 17.

“Accordingly, Western Regional Control Centre (WRCC) is immediately informed and prompted the vessel to halt within Lagos anchorage,” the statement said.

It added that four stowaways were initially apprehended from the stern of the vessel but upon interrogation, they revealed the presence of additional seven stowaways inside the ship.

“Following a comprehensive search, these stowaways were uncovered within the ship, bringing the total to 11 stowaways who were promptly disembarked from the vessel and taken into custody,” it said.

“The commander said that they had been handed over to the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) in accordance with the established protocols.

“Apart from the stowaways putting themselves in life threatening situations during the long voyage at sea, they also present myriad of safety and security challenges.

“Accordingly, this arrest and handover by the patrol team is an essential reminder of the critical role the Nigerian Navy plays in ensuring maritime security,” the statement said.

It added that the Nigerian Navy under the watch of the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla, would continue to maintain the security of the country’s maritime domain.

The statement said that the apprehended persons included Shedrack David, 19yrs from Ondo State, Emmanuel Godbless, 30yrs from Delta State, Ibrahim Hassan, 30yrs from Adamawa State, Solomon Francis, 21yrs from Ondo State, Bolaji Johnson, 28yrs from Ondo State and Samsom Aimy, 37yrs from Bayelsa State.

Others are Ayefuwei Collins, 27yrs from Delta State, Ayo Gula, 28yrs from Delta State, Jolomi Daniel, 23yrs from Ondo State, Abubakar Ibrahim, 19yrs from Zamfara State and Precious Uwalogho, 30yrs from Delta State.

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