The Nigerian Navy on Thursday dismissed three of its personnel who were arrested in June for stealing equipment from one of the properties, confiscated from ex-militant Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo, in Warri, Delta State, where they were on guard duty.
The three personnel; Petty Officer Ekong Samuel, Leading Seaman Elijah Sagwada and Seaman Usman Shuaibu, were also handed over to the authorities of the Nigerian Prisons Service, Okere, Warri, to continue with a five-month jail term handed down to them by the Navy Court Martial which tried their matter.
The Commander, NNS Delta, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, while speaking to reporters after the de-kitting of the dismissed ratings at the base of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta in Warri, stressed that the Nigerian Navy would not condone acts of indiscipline, neither would it protect any of its personnel found wanting as an officer or rating.
He said the dismissal and sentencing of the erring personnel was done in accordance with standard navy rules.
According to him, the dismissed personnel were not summarily tried; they were given fair hearing, allowed to come with their counsels and were only dismissed and sentenced after the court martial had been satisfied that they were guilty.
Dewu said: “Sometime in June, some of our personnel that were posted to Mieka Jetty, keeping duty, were caught stealing some of the equipment in that jetty. When the report was made to the base and they were arrested, both them and the civilians that were involved.
“A thorough investigation was carried out, a court martial was recommended after the investigation and these three personnel from NNS Delta were court martialed. What you see this morning is the sentence that was given after the court martial. We are carrying out the naval procedure for dismissal and we are going to send them to prison after the dismissal.
“They were dismissed first, after which they were de-kitted and now they are going to serve five months jail term in prison. So what we did this morning was to de-kit them and then hand them over to the prison service, to continue their jail term.
“I want to make this statement clear that the Nigerian Navy has never and will never condone any case of indiscipline, especially issues that will bring disrepute to the service. We do not cover any of our personnel that is caught in such cases. That is why today we have dismissed them and are handing them over the prison to serve their jail term.”