Constitutional lawyer, Prof. Itse Sagay, says the acquisition of seven warships by Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo, poses a threat to the nation’s security.
Sagay, who condemned the development in a statement on Tuesday, said the Nigerian constitution does not approve of any individual carrying out security duties on Nigerian waters except the country’s armed forces.
The statement comes a few weeks after Tompolo allegedly kidnapped seven journalists.
He said, “The news of the recent acquisition by Tompolo’s Company, Global West Vessel Service of seven war vessels, is extremely disturbing and destabilising. Given the volatile nature of Warri/Benin Rivers Area, and the over bearing violence of the Ijaw against the Itsekiri in particular, this is a sinister and dangerous development.
“There is no provision in Nigerian Law that permits the engagement of private persons and outfits to carry arms and engage in security operations in Nigerian waters. This duty is the exclusive responsibility of the Nigerian Navy. Section 3 of the Armed Forces Act, Cap. A 20 of the 2004 Laws of Nigeria provides as follows:
“(3)The Armed Forces shall be charged with the defence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by land, sea and air and such other duties as the National Assembly may, from time to time, prescribe or direct by an Act”. (4) Notwithstanding the generality of the provisions of subsection (3) of this section –