Navy discovers illegal naval training school in Rivers
Six suspects were yesterday paraded for operating an illegal naval training school in Wiiyaakara community, Khana Council of Rivers State.
It was gathered that the training school sold forms for recruitment between the sum of N100, 000 and N300, 000 with many said to have participated in the training programme.
Ten suspects in connection with the school have been handed over to the Rivers Police command for further investigation and possible prosecution.
The Nigerian Navy, while parading the suspects and four of its trainees before journalists, regretted that the training school was used by the suspects to defraud innocent citizens and companies.
The Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship Jubilee, Calabar, Commodore Saidu Garba, said the name of the illegal training school is the Nigerian Merchant Navy Coastal Defence Force.
Garba said the school paraded itself as an affiliate of Naval training centre, which specialises in recruitment and training of trainees for direct entry into the Nigerian Navy.
He said: “Troops of NNS Jubilee on January 9 during a routine patrol, came across a signpost bearing the name: Nigerian Merchant Navy Coastal Defence Force situated in Wiiyaakara Community in Khana Council.
“On further search, our patrol team discovered that the illegal organisation used a model primary school in Wiiyaakara community as its training centre.
“They conduct training for youths after which they send them out in the name of industrial attachment to so-called Naval organisations.
“Sometimes they even promised them that immediately after finishing, from the programme they would automatically join the Navy.
“We are suspecting that operators of the school use the facility to recruit and train youths for militancy,” he said.
Garba said the Federal Government banned the organisation, including the Nigerian Maritime Security Agency and the Nigerian Merchant Navy Petroleum Security and Safety Corp in 2013.
He said that troops arrested 10 suspects on the scene, including six operators of the training school and four trainees.
He added that investigation was ongoing to ascertain if any serving and retired personnel were behind the illegal training school believed to be operating across the country.
One of the suspects, James Otoko, 27, who presented himself as the Commanding Officer of the school, claimed he worked for one Commodore Chuku Agaba.