Tuesday, 29 April 2014

EXCLUSIVE: One Dead as Navy Raids Alleged Illegal Maritime School


A yet-to-be identified student of the Merchant Navy Training Institute, in Idah, Kogi State, was allegedly killed when the personnel of the Nigerian Navy (NN), raided the school to shut it down, on claims of the school being illegal.

The navy, who had raided the school in collaboration with other security agencies in the state, said it was to serve as a deterrent to others who decide to run a parallel illegal maritime organisation.

It was gathered that the school which was founded by one Commodore Benson Edema, who has been arrested several times by the NN, has been in existence for a long time and acting on a tip off, the navy Monday stormed the place and shut it down.

The naval personnel were said to have arrested over 300 students of the institute and some members of staff, although the students were yesterday unequivocally released after they had been documented.

A security source who spoke to me on anonymity said the student died in the fracas because the students had initially resisted arrested and had thrown stones and other dangerous objects at the naval personnel.

When contacted, the Director of Naval Information, Commodore Kabiru Aliyu, confirmed the incident but added that he could confirm if anyone died in the process.

He said, "It is true. The same Commodore Edema that we have arrested several times went to Kogi and started another illegal maritime school.  So the navy in collaboration with other security agencies raided the school.

"It is pertinent to note that the only recognised maritime training institute is the Maritime Academy of Nigeria located in Oron, Akwa Ibom State. Any other one is illegal.

"The suspects would be handed over to the police today (Wednesday) at the Kogi State Police Command for prosecution. We are using this opportunity to warn gullible students who enrol into the school to desist."

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