The Nigerian Navy has dismissed and jailed three of its personnel for theft of equipments worth millions of naira belonging to ex-militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias “Tompolo”.
Newsmen recalls that the stolen equipment were part of those confiscated from Tompolo by the Federal Government.
The convicts, Petty Officer Ekong Samuel, Leading Seaman Elijah Igbuda and Seaman Usman Dandawa Shuaibu, were de-kitted yesterday at the Nigerian Navy Ship Delta (NNS Delta) and were taking to Okere Prisons, Warri to serve their sentences having been convicted by a Court Martial.
A Court Martial is a military court or a trial conducted in such court and its empowered to determine the guilt of members of the armed forces subject to military law.
Speaking to journalists after the de-kitting of the convicts, Commander NNS Delta, Warri, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, said the conviction of the accused has put paid to insinuations in certain quarters that there were attempts to shield the personnel.
“Sometime in June, some of our personnel were deployed to Mieka Jetty in Warri to keep duty and they were caught stealing some of the equipment in the Jetty. When they reported to us, they were arrested and a thorough investigation was carried out.
“After that, a Court Martial was recommended and the three personnel were tried. What you saw was the outcome of the sentence passed by the Court Martial that we carried out, a dismissal and we are sending them to prisons”, he said.
Dewu assured that the military has a tradition of trying erring personnel, the reason why the case took too long noting that Court Martial, just like conventional courts, takes time to adjucate in issues in other to give fair hearings to accused.
“I want to make it clear that the Nigerian Navy has never and will never condone any case of indiscipline, especially any issue that will bring disrepute to the service. We do not cover any of our personnel that is caught involved in such cases, that is why we have dismissed and send them to prisons “, he assured.