Topline Security, a private guard company, has accused the Nigerian Navy of killing two of her personnel and abducting two others at the Ilashe area of Lagos State. The company was engaged by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to secure petroleum pipelines. Speaking at a press conference at the weekend, the Coordinator of the security firm, Chief Joshua Aminu, said the murdered personnel identified – Bello Williams and Oluwasegun Olusanya – were killed in the line of duty.
Narrating how the two men were murdered, Aminu said on July 11, about 3.30p.m, some personnel of the Nigerian Navy led by an officer, Aminu Goni, stormed the Ilashe area in two speed boats, opened fire on his men. The coordinator added that while the abducted security guards, Abayomi Ojugbele and Benedict Orme, sustained gunshot wounds, Williams and Olusanya were slaughtered with a machete and buried in a shallow grave. He said: “On the day of the incident, a pure water company had supplied my men pure water with a boat.
So they called me and I sent them to go and carry the bags of pure water to their tents. Our patrol team had gone to carry the bags of water when two speedboats of the Nigerian Navy stormed the area and started shooting sporadically.
“The guards ran for safety and I was immediately called and informed of the invasion by some personnel of the Nigerian Navy. I called the officer in charge of the Navy base covering the area, Aminu Goni to inform him of the incident. I called him five times and he didn’t respond. I called the authorities of the NNPC to inform them of what had happened. “Goni later called me and was telling me that a misunderstanding broke out between his personnel and my men. I told him that was why I was calling him earlier. I requested he should go and rescue my men.
Goni assured me the situation was under control that he was taking my men to the hospital. He even told me it was a mistake. “Later in the evening when I called him, he said my men were responding to treatment. I requested to come and see them but he said they would be discharged the next day that there was no need.“I called Goni again that evening and asked if the incident was truly a mistake because based on what I had seen, naval personnel shot at the windscreen and one of the bullets even went through the driver’s seat. I also told him of how his men had punctured the four tyres of the patrol vehicle. Goni said I shouldn’t worry that he was coming to see me and that we would settle the matter amicably.
“With the anger I called NNPC to inform them I wasn’t working again I also called Topline management in Abuja to inform them of the development.” The coordinator added that the authorities of the Nigerian Navy never opened up to the fact that they had murdered his personnel until a search conducted by him and some guards disclosed the gruesome murder. In his reaction, the FOC, Western Naval Command, Sylvanus Aba, confirmed the incident. But Aba alleged that the guards engaged in crime activities, especially pipeline vandalism.
He said: “The persons killed were killed with machetes. What will the Navy be doing with machetes. The fact is that these so called guards engage in criminal activities. They claim they have not been paid for 15 months and they are still working, why because they are siphoning fuel. They are even raping the women in the villages and committing all forms of atrocity.
Two of their men are with us at the Navy hospital because we want to use them to give evidence. “We had a meeting with the management of Topline Security in Abuja and it was resolved by all that no arms should be carried by their operatives again. “If they are saying they want to carry arms, we are insisting such arms should be licensed by the police.”
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