Personnel of the Nigerian Merchant Navy arrested during Police raid on their camp in Lagos, on Monday
The Nigerian Merchant Navy (NMN) in Lagos has claimed that one of its personnel was killed during the Police raid on its Ogudu camp on Wednesday.
Cdr. Ichuku Agaba, its training commander in Lagos, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday that four others were still missing after the raid.
“The Police came to the camp on Wednesday, shot sporadically, set our camp on fire and arrested some of our men,” he said.
He gave the name of the alleged deceased as Lt.-Cdr. Kingsley Abonyi.
Agaba expressed surprise at the invasion, describing the group as “Nigerians supporting the security of Lagos State”.
“Our organisation is not illegal as claimed by the Police; in 2013, we went to court to challenge the Police after a similar invasion.
“In 2015, a Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom ruled that NMN is not illegal and declared that we are entitled to freedom of association.”
He, however, said that the Police raid might not be unconnected with an alleged oil bunkering by “a foreigner living behind the MMN barracks which the organisation has been trying to stop without success”.
NAN reports that 108 personnel of the NMN were arrested and paraded before the press by the Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, on Wednesday.
Odumosu had alleged that the camp was raided because the group was operating an illegal military training camp after it was outlawed by the Federal Government via Gazette No. 58, promulgated on Aug. 13, 2019.
The Police boss said that the security situation in the country would not allow such illegal organisations to operate.
“This trend portends danger for our nation and a threat to peace and security. As a law enforcement agency, we have to enforce the law banning activities of the illegal military outfit.
“I want to use this medium to warn other individuals or groups still operating such illegal outfits in any part of the State to close it forthwith; anyone nursing similar plan is advised in his own interests to rescind it or face the full wrath of the law.”
Meanwhile, the Police have debunked allegations that someone was killed during the raid.
Mr Adekunle Ajisebutu, spokesman of the Police Command in Lagos, told NAN that no shot was fired during the raid.
“The Police didn’t shoot or kill anyone before, during and after the operation.
“The victim died as a result of drowning. His body has been deposited at the Yaba Mainland Hospital’s morgue for autopsy,” he said.