Youths condemn assault by Navy personnel in Nembe, seek compensation for victim

Nembe—A tugboat captain, Ejemeta Victor, has allegedly been tortured by some Nigerian Navy personnel said to be attached to Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company Limited in Santa Barbara flow station in Nembe, Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa state.

Victor confirmed to our reporter that the incident happened in the early hours of Wednesday, at the Santa Barbara flow station operated by Aiteo.

He said he was assaulted by the Navy personnel led by OC Navy Elite 4 Houseboat S/Bar, NN SLT Hunjenukon Emmanuel and Navy Jacob because they were not given the tugboat security work permit. gathered that the Navy personnel wanted the escort of the tugboat (named—Nice 2 Tugboat and owned by Hydra, a contracting firm working under Aiteo) while conveying oil pipes, whereas the escort had already been given out to other security personnel by the tugboat owners.

The Public Relations Officer of the Nembe Youths Federation, Perekule Clarkson reacting to the incident in a statement condemned the reported assault on the tugboat captain, describing the act as barbaric and unacceptable.

He urged the Nigerian Navy to urgently launch an investigation into the incident and fish out those responsible for the act, adding that the incident was a gross violation of the victim’s rights.

The spokesman of the youth body further requested the Navy to foot the hospital expenses of the victim, who according to the statement has been admitted to the hospital for treatment.

“The Nigerian Navy authority is hereby advised to deepen its commitment to uphold the rights of victims of such military abuses by taking genuine and impartial steps to investigate this case of human rights abuse against a law-abiding Mr. Victor who was only doing his work as captain of the said tugboat.

“It is a clear case of gross violation of the rights of Mr. Victor,” the group said.

“The victim is already undergoing medical treatment in an undisclosed hospital due to the assault by the Navy personnel.

The group also requested that the Navy authorities should pay for the medical bills and adequate compensation must also be made to Mr. Victor for the brutalisation meted on him and demanded an apology from the Navy while putting up machinery to prevent future incidents of this type within Nembe axis.

“Such military personnel who do not respect host communities and honour human rights should be sent back to the barracks to avert future damages and dangers,” the statement added.

All efforts to get a reaction from the Nigerian Navy proved abortive while filing this report.

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