The Nigerian Navy in Lagos on Tuesday said it had arrested 26 vessels in the last 14 months for various offences within the maritime domain.
The outgoing Flag Officer Commanding, Rear Adm. Sylvanus Abbah, made the disclosure during his handing over ceremony at the Western Naval Command in Apapa, Lagos.
Abbah, who handed over to the new FOC, Rear Adm. Habila Ngalabak, said that the arrest was made possible with the support of naval personnel and other security agencies.
He said: “Within the last 14 months as the FOC, we have collectively been unflappable while serving in a very challenging maritime environment.
“Within the last 14 months, the Command arrested and handed over 26 vessels to appropriate prosecuting agencies.
“The command also rescued four Chinese citizens kidnapped from a fishing vessel while successfully conducted Operation and Exercises.”
Abbah said the suspects alongside the veasels were all handed over to appropriate agencies for prosecution.
He said: “As a duty to the nation, we have also committed own personnel to land-based security challenged areas in faraway terrains like Jos, Maiduguri, Lake Chad and other volatile areas occasioned by the Boko Haram menace.
“Confronting today’s maritime threats requires a shared understanding of the threat and a strategic consensus.
“It requires a concerted effort, utilising all elements of power diplomatic, information, military and economic.”
Abbah said these achievements could not have been possible without the moral, professional and financial support of the Chief of Naval Staff Vice Adm. Ibok Ibas.
He said: “We are all living witnesses to the giant strides made by the CNS that has touched all facets of our lives, ship acquisition, boat repairs, barracks maintenance, new vehicles, improved office space and others.
“Our duty is to repay all of these with hard work and dedication. Our performances at sea remains our greatest achievement.
“This has been inclined toward both rigorous strategic thought and execution with the resources necessary for execution.”
Abbah, however, told the personnel that he had faith that they would continue to sustain presence at sea, because the sea must be safe for all legal activities.