The Nigerian Navy says it has constituted a court martial to try three naval personnel allegedly involved in the theft of some equipment belonging to Ekpemukpolo, a.k.a Tompolo.
Rear Adm. Saleh Usman, the outgoing Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Central Naval Command, disclosed this on Monday during a farewell parade organised in his honour at the Warri Naval Base. Usman who was flanked by the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) DELTA, Commander, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, said the Navy had concluded investigations into the alleged involvement of the officers in the crime
He added that a court martial had been set up to try the suspects accordingly and would be dismissed from service and handed over to the police if found guilty. The suspects were allegedly caught with some Tompolo’s equipment currently confiscated by the Federal Government.
“We all know that there is no institution without bad eggs. To ensure the image of the Navy is not soiled, we have instituted a martial committee to try the suspects. They are currently in detention, so, if after their trial and they are found guilty, we will dismiss and hand them over to the police for prosecution.
In the next two weeks, the court martial will start sitting and the outcome of the trial will be made public, that I can assure you. We will not cover anybody up. We have our integrity to protect too,” Usman said.
The naval boss urged the ratings to shun partisan politics and show supreme respect to the constitution and the constituted authorities. “The democratic system of government is vital for Nigeria if we aspire to be part of globalisation and the attendant development. I therefore urge you to shun partisan politics as we approach the 2019 general elections,” he said.
Usman said the Central Naval Command was notorious for illegal activities such as crude oil theft, illegal bunkering, piracy and sea robbery adding that the Command was able to checkmate the activities of the criminals. He also said that the introduction of swamp buggy operations had led to the destruction of over 80 illegal refining sites and 220 illegal refineries.