Navy seeks strengthened synergy to fight maritime crimes

NavyTHE failure to charge suspected maritime criminals to court for prosecution has been attributed to the rivalry that existed among the relevant security agencies and the seeming neglect by their past leadership to streamline the procedure, as well as plain laziness.

This is coming as the leaderships of the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Police Force have pledged to strengthen collaboration to deal with the rising wave of maritime crime through training, inter-agency exchange programmes and partnership.

The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Solomon Arase revealed this yesterday in Abuja when he received the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, who paid him a courtesy call to rob minds on the need for closer collaboration between the two agencies to enhance the security in the country’s maritime environment.

Ibas said the wind of robust collaboration between the two agencies as experienced recently is a welcome development and needs to be sustained.

“I want to admit and happily too that the rapport that exists between our agencies has improved tremendously recently, we should sustain that. In the past it was not like this but now we realize that we work for the same country.”

The CNS said the two major areas of cooperation with the Police Force are most desired now is in the area of training and manpower development as well as ensuring the conclusive prosecution of suspected maritime criminals, arrested by either of the Agencies.

While responding to the CNS, Arase gave reasons why the ‘serious problem’ of maritime insecurity has persisted over the years with little or no prosecution of suspects, even though quite a number have being arrested by the Navy as well as other security agencies. Noting that diligent prosecution cannot be effected if there is poor inter-agency co-operation and understanding.

He said “Some of these vessels that have been arrested, instead of bringing them to the police that have the mandate to investigate and prosecute them, you take them to other organization and you discovered that there is this proliferation of reporting line.’’

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