The Nigerian Navy has arrested a suspect, Augustine Effiong, who specialises in providing medical services to injured militants in the creeks of Bakassi and Akpabuyo local government areas of Cross River.
Briefing newsmen on Thursday in Calabar, Commodore Obed Ngalabak, Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship Victory, said the suspect was arrested on Oct. 26, 2016 at Nakanda-Idebe area in Bakassi local government.
Ngalabak handed over the suspect to Cross River State Director of Department of State Service.
He said that the hand over was in compliance with the directive issued by Rear Adm. James Oluwole, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command.
He said that the operation that led to the arrest of the suspect was carried out by men of the Nigerian Navy Special Forces attached to the NNS-V.
He said, “On the 26 October 2016, men of the Nigerian Navy arrested one Augustine Effiong at his shop around Nakanda-Idebe in Bakassi local government area.
“Intelligence reports had indicated that the suspect owns a pharmacy and works in collaboration with militants by hiding and providing medical services to injured members of the Bakassi Strike Force and Aston Boys militants groups.
“Upon his arrest, the suspect claimed he was forced by Benjamin Ene a.k.a `G1’ and Victor Ene, a.k.a `G3’ to provide drugs and other medical essentials to the groups.
“However, his failure to report the activities of the militants to appropriate authority shows that he was a willing accomplice and our men had to disguise themselves as patients with a view to arrest him.
“Each time we engage the militants in exchange of fire and they sustain bullet injuries, they will run to Effiong for treatment.”
Commodore Ngalabak said that the Navy had in recent times arrested no fewer than 10 suspected militants in the creeks and handed them over to the relevant agencies for further actions.
`G1’ who has been in the wanted list of security agencies in the state, had on Nov. 8, returned a General Purpose Machine Gun and AK 47 rifles to the army and called for peace.