The Nigerian Navy has announced the arrest of a suspect who it says specialises in providing medical services to injured militants in the creeks of Bakassi and Akpabuyo local government areas of Cross River State.
Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship Victory, NNS-V, Obed Ngalabak, made this known on Thursday while briefing newsmen in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
He said that the suspect was arrested on October 26, at Nakanda-Idebe area in Bakassi local government.
Ngalabak handed the suspect over to the Cross River State Director of Department of State Service in compliance with a directive issued by the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command, James Oluwole.
He narrated that the arrest of the suspect was a result of an operation carried out by men of the Nigerian Navy Special Forces attached to the NNS-V.
Ngalabak said, “On the 26 October 2016, men of the Nigerian Navy arrested one Mr Augustine Effiong at his shop around Nakanda-Idebe in Bakassi local government area.
“Intelligence reports had indicated that the suspect owns a pharmacy and works in collaboration with militants by hiding and providing medical services to injured members of the Bakassi Strike Force and Aston Boys militants groups.
“Upon his arrest, the suspect claimed he was forced by Benjamin Ene a.k.a `G1’ and Victor Ene, a.k.a `G3’ to provide drugs and other medical essentials to the groups.
“However, his failure to report the activities of the militants to appropriate authority shows that he was a willing accomplice and our men had to disguise themselves as patients with a view to arrest him.”
The NNS-V commander noted that “Each time we engage the militants in exchange of fire and they sustain bullet injuries, they will run to Effiong for treatment.”
He also revealed that the Navy had in recent times arrested no fewer than 10 suspected militants in the creeks and handed them over to the relevant agencies for further actions.
`G1’ who has been in the wanted list of security agencies in the state, had on Nov. 8, returned a General Purpose Machine Gun and AK 47 rifles to the army and called for peace.