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Pirates strike again  in Gulf of Guinea


—-steal cargo from product tanker 

Pirates boarded a tanker working as a bunkering vessel in the Gulf of Guinea region and reportedly stole cargo from the ship before leaving.

 Initial reports had indicated a possible hijacking, but the crew was unharmed and reported safe.
 Security analysts have raised a warning, noting that the incident occurred further west of most of the historic activity in the region with the culprits suspected of departing from Ghana.

Analysts from Dryad Global are linking the confirmed boarding of the product tanker B. Ocean, a 5,700 dwt vessel operating under the flag of the Marshall Islands, to an earlier warning from MDAT-GOG of irregular activity along the western coast of Ghana.

The monitoring bureau reported that local fishermen in the area had seen a group of unknown people heading out to sea in the early morning hours of January 24 in a fishing boat with a high-power motor.

“The group is suspected to be a criminal group, possibly a pirate action group that is planning to attack vessels at sea,” MDAT said in its advisory.

They were warning vessels in the area near Takoradi in western Ghana to be on alert.

Dryad reports that the owners of the product tanker lost contact with the vessel later that same day.

 The vessel was operating from Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire, west of Ghana. The incident was reported when the vessel was silent with no AIS signal for more than 17 hours.
 Vessels sometimes purposefully turn off their AIS signal in the region to help elude detection from criminals active in the area.

The boarding of the product tanker and the thief from its cargo was later confirmed.

The vessel has resumed transmitting its AIS signal which shows that it has returned to Abidjan.

“The maritime crime and piracy footprint throughout the area is historically low,” reports Dryad in its analysis of the incident.

Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana historically are low crime areas with most incidents being more of thief versus hijackings or assaults on crew.
 Dryad reports that there are thus far no reported incidents of piracy within the offshore domain near Abidjan.

Dryad in its analysis notes that this could represent an expansion of the area in which pirates are working, possibly in response to the increased enforcement efforts in the region near Nigeria which has been the historic focus of most of the activity in the region.

Further, they noted that it would represent the first hijacking of a vessel in nearly a year in the broader region.

Last week, the Ghana Navy announced that its forces had been contracted to provide security and asset protection at two offshore oil fields.

 However, the broader Gulf of Guinea region continues to report greatly reduced criminal activity with other recent warnings only of irregular activity in the areas near Nigeria which could have been the precursor to assaults on ships and some thefts from anchored vessels.

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IGP grieves over assault on policewoman

Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola


— orders prosecution of culprits
 Owolola Adebola

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba,  has strongly condemned the grievous assault of a female Police Officer, Inspector Teju Moses, by her principal who is a Legal practitioner and human rights activist, Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola and her domestic staff comprising the housemaid, one Rebecca Enechido and a male suspect currently at large.

Zainab Duke, a Mbaise-born activist, grievously assaulted her orderly in the company of some accomplices on Tuesday 20th September 2022 at her residence in Garki, Abuja, due to the refusal of the orderly to breach professional ethics by carrying out menial and domestic chores at her house.

The IGP also directed the express prosecution of the arrested suspects who are currently in Police custody, as the preliminary investigation shows overwhelming evidence of culpability on the part of the Professor and her domestic staff.

The IGP has equally tasked the investigative team to ensure that the fleeing suspect is arrested and made to face the wrath of the law.

It is pertinent to clarify that the suspect, Prof. Zainab, who name-drops the IGP, his family members, and other officers in the top hierarchy of the Force has no acquaintance with the Police in any form as erroneously peddled on social media.

The Inspector-General of Police who similarly ordered the withdrawal of all Police personnel attached to the Professor expressed consternation at the fact that an individual who claims to be an advocate for Human Rights could stoop so low as to violate the rights of another individual, a police officer tasked with ensuring her protection.

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Customs collects N1.7trn  revenue in 8 months

CGC, Ali


–embarks on aggressive revenue hunts to meet target

The Eyewitness reporter

The Nigeria Customs Service has collected a whooping sum of  N1,755,386,486,390.02  as revenue in the first eight months of the year spanning January and August.

The service made the highest monthly earnings of N241,903,781,854.46 in August as the service intensifies its aggressive revenue drive to meet the expectations of the Federal Government which has come to rely on the revenue from the service to fund its critical project.

This follows the diversification of government to non-oil sectors and expands its tax base due to the dwindling revenue from the oil sector.
The revenue in the first eight months of 2022 is N363,436,321,614.95 higher than N1,391,950,164,775.97 the customs collected in the corresponding period of 2021.

Abuja has increased its focus on non-oil revenue sources, prompting higher expectations from revenue collection agencies such as the NCS, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), among others.

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Jamoh wears OFR diadem as Buhari confers national honour on NIMASA DG


The Eyewitness reporter 
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, has expressed deep appreciation to President Mohammed Buhari for being conferred with one of the highest national honours in Nigeria, Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR).

The Office of the Honourable Minister, Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, has conveyed this good news to Dr Jamoh in a letter of Award which has slated the investiture ceremony for the International Conference Center (ICC), Abuja on Monday, 10th October 2022.

Recall that Dr. Jamoh had served the Nigerian maritime sector as an administrator for over 30 years when he was appointed by President Buhari as the NIMASA DG in March 2020.

Since that time, he has overseen the successful deployment of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure otherwise known as the Deep Blue Project which has played a major role in achieving a reduction of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea to its barest minimum since 1994 and culminating in Nigeria being removed from the infamous piracy red list by the International Maritime Bureau, IMB.

A hallmark of his tenure at the helm of NIMASA has been his institutionalization of collaboration among stakeholders, within and outside the country, to achieve significant milestones in the sector.

One notable example of this is his initiation of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum/ Shared Awareness and De-confliction (GOG-MCF/SHADE), which has demonstrated the positive outcomes of information sharing among regional and non-regional military forces in achieving a secure maritime space.

Reacting to the news on his social media handle, Dr Jamoh expressed gratitude for being considered for the honour stating:

“Words cannot express how humbled I feel to be so considered for the National Honour as an Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR).

“When I began my maritime journey 30 years ago, little did I know that Almighty Allah would so favour me to rise to the position of NIMASA DG, let alone to be considered for one of the highest honours in the land”.

Dr Jamoh especially thanked His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Standing Committee on National Honours Award for deeming him worthy of the honour while also appreciating everyone who had supported him throughout his tenure as NIMASA Director General, especially the maritime stakeholders.

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