The Nigeria Navy has said that there has been no piracy attack in the nation’s maritime domain, in the last one year. The Chief of Policy and Plans (COPP), Naval Headquarters in Abuja, Rear Admiral Saidu Garba, made the disclosure, Friday, at a press briefing to debunk allegations that a Vessel, MT HEROIC IDUN, earlier arrested, was loaded with three million barrels of stolen crude. According to the COPP, the controversial Ship, which invaded the Akpo Oil Field without any form of authorisation, or clearance whatsoever, hurriedly left the domain without lifting any crude oil.
This, he said, happened upon discovery of a Navy Vessel. He said the illegal vessel was eventually apprehended at Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea. “Nigeria has not recorded any piracy attacks in the country in the last one year. “While conducting routine monitoring of the maritime domain, on August 7, it was observed that a very large crude oil carrier MT HEROIC IDUN entered the Nigerian maritime environment and headed for Akpo Field with- out any form of authorisation or clearance. “MT HEROIC IDUN (IMO: 9858058) is registered in Marshall Island with an overall length of 336 meter and capacity of three million barrels.
“The vessel arrived at Akpo Field midnight on August 7, with the obvious intention of lifting crude oil within the field,” he said. He added: “This was, however, spotted by the Nigerian Navy Maritime Domain Awareness facility which probed the legitimacy of the carrier’s presence in the Total SA operated Akpo Field. “The outcome of all relevant enquiries from the controlling agency, NNPC Ltd, revealed that the vessel was not cleared to be in Akpo Field. “Nigeria has not lost a single drop of oil as a result of the misadventure by this Vessel. “This necessitated the deployment of the Nigerian Navy Inshore Patrol Craft, NNS Gongola, to investigate the tanker’s activities. “NNS GONGOLA arrived at Akpo Field and interrogated the MT HEROIC IDUN on her mission and approval status. “The Captain of the vessel duly responded and further stated that it was without relevant clearance to operate in the Field.”