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Navy pledges to support police fight maritime crimes

 The Chief of
Naval Staff, Vice-Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas, has pledged to support the police to
tackle crimes in the maritime sector.

Ibas made the
pledge when he led a delegation on a courtesy visit to the Inspector-General of
Police, Mr Solomon Arase, in Abuja on Wednesday. 
“The navy wants
to pledge our continued support in ensuring that we develop the necessary
cooperation and support to enhance our internal security.
“The
relationship that exists between us has improved tremendously and it is my wish
that we continue to sustain and maintain it.
“In the past we
have instances where our men slug it out, we have realised that we are all
working toward a common goal.’’
Ibas noted that
it was only under a conducive environment that investors both foreign and
local, could invest in Nigeria. 
The naval chief also
urged the police to collaborate with the navy in seamanship capacity building.
He, however,
expressed concern over the delay in the prosecution of suspected maritime
criminals by the police.
“These criminals
and suspects have over time taken us for granted because prosecutions that
ought to have been carried out were neglected.
“It is on this
note that I want to solicit the cooperation of the I-G to ensure that cases
that are outstanding are promptly addressed to serve as deterrent to would be
criminals.’’
He said it was
costly for the navy to continue to keep vessels arrested alongside with their
contents.
“If these cases
are diligently disposed of we can begin to have a clean environment and reduce
cases of illegality in the maritime environment,’’ he stated. 
Arase expressed
concern over the state of the marine department of the police, which he blamed
on paucity of funds. 
He said that an
inventory of boats was being taken with the view to ascertaining the cost of
repairing them for use.
The police chief
said that the police would leverage on the partnership with the navy to repair
the boats.
Arase said that
most of the robbery attacks that had taken place along coastal states were
through the waterways.
He said that the
police had been unable to react appropriately to the attacks because the boats
were not functional.
On prosecution of
suspects, Arase said that a taskforce had been constituted to handle the
matter.
He attributed the
lack of diligent prosecution of maritime crimes to successive police
administrations that failed to build enough synergy with other security
agencies.
Arase said that
the police would rely on the navy in training and information sharing to
improve on internal security management of the force.
He assured that
the police would also collaborate with other sister agencies as the police
could not fight crimes alone.

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