By Nkiruka Odinkemelu
The Nigerian Navy has warned criminals to desist from illegalities within the Badagry water ways, as it would not hesitate to deal ruthlessly with those found culpable.
The Navy gave this warning on Tuesday, while handing over arrested items worth fifteen million Naira to Operation Swift Response (OSR).
OSR was commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 to checkmate illegal activities across Nigeria borders after they were shut down.
The seized items consist of: five fibre speed boats fitted with outboard engines, one Toyota 4 Runner SUV, Electronics and Electrical fittings.
Others are: 86 fifty Kg bags of foreign parboiled rice, cosmetics products, 6 bales of used clothes and 6 cartons of frozen turkey.
Delivering his speech at the event, the officer commanding FOB, Captain Chris Akokota who handed over the items to Customs said the recent arrests and other past ones, since the commissioning of OSR were made in compliance with the Response’s mandate.
His words: “since the operation commenced, several arrests and seizures of contraband goods have been made within Nigeria – Republic of Benin border at Seme and it’s environs by personnel of the Armed forces and other security agencies that constitute of Sector 2 of OSR in the Base’ area of operation.
“On its part and in compliance with the operation’s mandate, FOB in fulfilment of Nigerian Navy’s policing role, has increased patrols along waterways extending from Lagos – Republic of Benin border. This had led to several arrests which we have handed over to operation Swift in the past.
“Equally, the Base in the last two months, made additional arrest and it is in this regards that we have gathered here to witness the handing over of the items”.
The Commanding Officer, who attributed their success to the provision of required logistics support by the Chief of Naval staff, thanked him for the support, even as he also thanked the Flag officer commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral OB Daji for creating the enabling environment.
On his part, Deputy Comptroller of Customs in charge of enforcement, Rasheed Adahuse, who received the items on behalf of OSR commended the Navy for their commitment towards the success of the Operation.
He affirmed that the Nigeria Customs will continue to synergize with the Navy to ensure the safety of the waterways.
In his closing remarks, Akokota assured that while the bad eggs will be fished out and dealt with, the Navy will create the right atmosphere for legitimate businesses to thrive.