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Obituary

Sea Robbers Kill Naval Officer.

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Suspected sea robbers on Friday killed a naval officer, Lt. Cmdr Femi Fakiyesi, along the Calabar waterways after a failed attempt to kidnap some expatriates working for Addax Petroleum.

The incident, which happened along the waterways in the Parrot Island at about 9.15am, threw the Eastern Naval Command of the Nigeria Navy into mourning.

The navy boat was said to be escorting the Addax Petroleum stick boat marked,MV Well-Manned, when the incident happened.

A resident of the area, Okon Bassey, said the wounded naval officer was rushed to the Navy Hospital in Calabar at about 12 noon, but he later died.

He said, “I was at the clinic when two naval officers were rushed in. I later learnt that one of them died as a result of the injury sustained,” he said.

It was further gathered that the sea robbers had attempted to intercept  the Addax Petroleum boat in a bid to kidnap the expatriates but met stiff resistance from the navy escort boat.

Another source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it was likely that the sophisticated weapons used by the sea robbers was stolen from the last raid on the armoury of the Marine Police base in Calabar.

He said, “How can the sea robbers confront the navy if not for the sophisticated weapons they stole from the armoury of the Marine Police in Calabar?”

Sea robbers had in June raided the armoury of the Marine Police in Calabar and succeeded in carting away a large quantity of weapons and a gun boat.

The Information Officer in charge of the Eastern Naval Command, Lt. Cmdr Bassey Ayi, said it was unfortunate that the navy lost one of its officers, who had prevented criminals from having a field day.

He said the fight was not in vain as the robbers did not succeed in kidnapping any expatriate from the Addax Petroleum boat.

Ayi said, “We regret to speak on this unfortunate incident which happened around 0915 hours on the Parrot Island along the Calabar channel. Our officer, Lt. Cmdr O.J. Fakiyesi, died in active service while trying to repel attack by suspected sea robbers on Addax boat named, MV Well-Manned. The robbers were after the expatriates in that boat.

“The officer and his team were on escort duty. The Addax boat had some unspecified numbers of expatriates and indigenous workers of the oil company. It was while they were escorting the boat that the miscreants came out from the creek and attacked them. They were to kidnap the expatriates probably for ransom. The miscreants were repelled with heavy casualties.

“Our men opened fire on them and we ensured that we secured the lives of the expatriates. Unfortunately, one of our officers was injured and was taken to our hospital in Calabar. He died before he could get medical attention.”

He said the Eastern Naval Command would soon be receiving two war ships to help curtail criminals on the Calabar Channels.

Ayi appealed to members of the public to report suspicious places around the Calabar channel to security agencies, saying such could be pirates’ hideouts.