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Nigerian Navy returns arrested vessel in Calabar

The Nigerian naval ship, NNS Victory, on Monday, returned a vessel, MT AYSU, arrested on Jan. 31 to Pebeto Enerji Limited.

While handing over the vessel in Calabar, the Commander, NNS Victory, Rear Admiral Vincent Okeke, said that his patrol team arrested the vessel around Calabar Safe Anchorage Area for
illegally loading 1,500 metric tons of Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO).
Okeke said that post-arrest investigation revealed that the approval granted by NNS Delta to the vessel to load oil sludge waste at Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company was
unaccounted for.
He said that the discharge port could not be ascertained as preliminary investigation revealed that it did not sail to Port Harcourt as claimed.
Okeke said that in compliance with the directive of the Naval Headquarters (NHQ) in April, the vessel, its contents and five crew members were handed over to the Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigation.
“After series of investigation, the EFCC indicated that there were insufficient evidences to charge MT AYSU to court for the alleged offence.
“Consequently, EFCC advised the NHQ to release the vessel so that it could continue with its operations and, accordingly, NHQ directed the release of MT AYSU to the owner upon proof of
ownership, in accordance with extant regulations.
“After a thorough perusal of the available documents presented by Pebeto Enerji Limited, it was evident that the vessel belongs to the said company, which manages the vessel on behalf of AYSU
Shipping Limited.
“Consequently, MT AYSU, with IMO Number 9014511, is hereby handed over to Messrs Pebeto Enerji Limited.
“However, NNS Victory remains resolute to enforce the mandate of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ibas to rid Nigeria’s maritime domain of all forms of criminality,” he said.
Receiving the vessel, the Managing Director of Pebeto Enerji Limited, Mr. Eberiere Otomewo, said MT AYSU had been cleared of all the allegations which, he said, were initiated by some
mischievous Nigerians who gave distorted information to the navy.
Otomewo, however, suggested that the government and security agencies should devise ways of bringing the peddlers of such falsehood to book.
“We have more than 40 workers whose livelihoods are dependent on this vessel’s operations, meaning that between 100 and 230 persons who are indirectly benefiting from the services of
the vessel had suffered from this saga,” he said.
Credit: Agency Report.


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