February 9, 2020

Protest over arrests of suspected sea pirates in Ondo by navy

Navy intercepts 316 drums of illegal diesel at Agbani offshore

….Boys held are no sea pirates — Families

By Dayo Johnson, Akure

Families of three suspected sea pirates arrested by the Forward Operational Base of the Nigerian Navy in Igbokoda, Ondo State have cried out that their sons are not criminals but being victimised.

In a statement issued in Akure on behalf of the families, their lawyer, Mr Atima Koboju, claimed that the suspects, Odun Ogunse, Adeojo Sunday and Edema ThankGod, are innocent.

According to the families, ThankGod is a driver, Ogunse a bricklayer while Sunday is a labourer.

The Forward Operational Base of the Nigerian Navy had, last week, arrested the boys and called them pirates just as it declared 33 others wanted for alleged criminal activities.

But Koboju, in the statement made available to Sunday Vanguard, alleged that the three boys and others declared wanted “are the youths of Temetan, Kofawe and Agbeni communities involved in land dispute with the Olu of lgbokoda, Oba Afolabi Odidiomo”.

The families added, “It is ridiculous that the Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base, lgbokoda can be used for such purpose.

“It is sad that the Navy Forward Operations Base, lgbokoda is now blowing hot and cold and acting the script of some persons to nail innocent persons to crime.

READ ALSO: Ondo: Navy declares 36 suspects wanted over kidnapping, killings

“They claim that Bamitale lwatan is connected to the attack of a vessel in Bayelsa and wanted in connection of kidnap is not true.

“The claim that Bamitale lwatan is also connected to gun duel between officers of the Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base, lgbokoda and sea pirates at Gbagira Awoye is not true.

“Bamitale lwatan is the youth leader at Temetan community who Oba Odidiomo desperately wants to nail to crime”.

Meanwhile, the Commander of the Naval Base, Commodore Danjuma Ndanusa, insisted that the three boys are sea pirates and would face the music, adding that 33 others have been declared wanted for criminal offences in the riverine area of Ondo.

Contacted, Oba Odidiomo said, “The navy has its own intelligence and they have the facts on those arrested and those on a wanted list.”

He added that the navy could not do his or anybody’s bidding, noting that the reasons and decision to arrest the suspects were best known to the authorities.

The monarch said, “How would l have a hand in their arrest when they were arrested miles from Igbokoda and their activities on the sea were not even in Igbokoda? I have become a cheap instrument to be used to cover their alleged crimes”.

Vanguard Nigeria News