Nigerian Navy apprehends eight stowaways on Abidjan-bound ship
By Matthew Atungwu
The Nigerian Navy’s NNS Beecarrests patrol squad has arrested eight Nigerian stowaways who were attempting to leave the nation by way of a ship that was headed for Abidjan.
The stowaways were removed from the container ship NATAL through the rudder compartment, where they had supposedly hidden themselves.
At the Naval Base Apapa in Lagos on Monday, the Commander of NNS Beecroft, Kolawale Oguntuga, stated that the arrests of the suspects were made based on trustworthy information as he turned them over to the Nigerian Immigration Service.
The commander identified the individuals as 22-year-old Jerry Benjamin; Ben Tony, 19; 16-year-old Victory Ekemele; and Ike Destiny, 17, all from Delta State; 25-year-old Ebuka Solomon, and 26-year-old Christian Eze, both from Enugu State; 25-year-old James Vincent from Edo State and David Abamiyo, 27, from Ondo State.
Oguntuga said, “In a remarkable display of sustained maritime security, the Nigerian Navy Ship BEECROFT’s patrol team has stalled plans of some individuals from embarking on illegal voyages, onboard a container vessel, NATAL, heading to Abidjan.
“With commendable resolve, the patrol team, on Friday, November 3, 2023, around 8.40 a.m., acting on reliable intelligence, boarded the vessel at Lagos anchorage and apprehended eight stowaways attempting to illegally exit the country through the vessel.
“Their arrest took place within the vicinity of the Lagos anchorage, while they were attempting to clandestinely exit the country via the vessel.
“The brave efforts and timely intervention of the patrol team prevented the individuals from being exposed to life-threatening situations in such a confined compartment for the long voyage as well as other security threats associated with unauthorized access to such facilities.
“In a seamless transition, the stowaways have been handed over to the appropriate authority by the established protocols for further necessary actions,” he said.