The Nigerian Navy has begun a crackdown on unauthorised naval security outfits, announcing the proscription of six agencies operating such illegal groups.
The outfits include Nigerian Merchant Marine, Nigerian Merchant Navy Corps, Global College of Marine and Technology, Merchant Navy Maritime Academy as well as Nigeria Merchant Navy and Maritime Law Enforcement Agency.
Navy Director of Public Information Commodore Christian Ezekobe, in a statement, said the activities of the impostors have caused several cases of security breaches and criminal activities.
He said the fake naval personnel have continued to intimidate, harass and defraud unsuspecting members of the public.
Ezekobe said several arrests have been made by the Navy and other sister security organisations, including one Allen Benson Edema, who was arrested on Friday, October 18, within the precinct of the National Assembly, Abuja.
Edema was arrested dressing in the uniform and accoutrement of a naval commodore (equivalent to a Brigadier General) with another suspect, who was also dressed up in naval uniform.
Edema is alleged to be the arrow head of a fake maritime security organisation called Nigerian Merchant Navy Corps, which has also been proscribed.
Another six persons were arrested by operatives of the Forward Operating Base (FOB) Badagry on November 15 for impersonating as personnel of the Nigerian Navy.
The suspects, who were arrested at Dadi Village in Badagry Local Government Area (LGA), Lagos State, dressed in naval uniform with rank badges of the Nigerian Navy.
They claimed to be members of another proscribed Maritime security organisation called Nigerian Merchant Marine.
The Navy spokesperson said the activities of the proscribed organisations have posed great danger to the efforts of the Navy to mitigate security challenges in the country.
Ezekobe added: “In view of the fragile security situation in the country, particularly in the Niger Delta area, the activities of these illegal and proscribed maritime security organisations have posed great danger to the efforts by the Nigerian Navy and sister security services to mitigate the security challenges in the country.
“Consequently, operatives of the Nigerian Navy in conjunction with other security agencies have maintained red alert vigilance to ensure that the naval impostors are promptly apprehended.
“To this end, the general public is advised to kindly report suspicious behaviour of anyone or group of persons who claim to be personnel of the Nigerian Navy or found to be dressed in naval uniform and accoutrements.
“The Nigerian Navy hereby resolves to deal decisively with anyone who might be contemplating to test the will of the service in checkmating activities of criminal gangs and impostors in the maritime domain.”
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