The Nigerian Navy yesterday handed over 55 trainees from its Basic Training School in Onne, near Port Harcourt, to the police for obtaining admission into the institution with forged and altered certificates.
Apushi Suleiman, Commandant of the Nigerian Navy Basic Training School, who made the handover at the Rivers State Police Headquarters in Moscow Road Port Harcourt, said the certificates found to be questionable are West African School Certificate and National Examination Council (NECO) certificates.
He said the training as been going on for three months, while the Naval Headquarters conducted a verification of the certificate of the 1, 214 trainees which resulted in the discovery that 55 of them secured admission with fake, forged or altered certificates and hand over to the police “for possible prosecution.”
Suleiman added that these arrests and dismissal will serve as a deterrent, adding that the Navy has the machinery to detect such misdemeanors.
“The training started three months ago at the Nigerian Navy Basic Training School in Onne, Rivers State. Of the 1, 214 trainees that we selected, we conducted a verification exercise and we discovered that 55 of them came in with fake, forged or altered certificates. That is why I have handed them over to the Police for possible prosecution.
“This is a very strong signal to those hanging around and who want to join the Navy, that the Navy has all the machinery in place to fish out the bad eggs,” Mr Suleiman said.
Ben Ugwuegbulam, River State Police Command spokesman, said the suspects handed over by the Navy will be prosecuted.
Mr Ugwuegbulam also spoke of one Francis Uche who was arrested for impersonating as an Army Lieutenant. He said Mr. Uche was arrested by men of the 2nd Amphibious Brigade (Bori Camp) of the Nigerian Army at a Timber shade in Oyigbo, near Port Harcourt on the 22nd of September this year.
The suspect told reporters he was dismissed from the Army in 2010 for engaging in illegal activities. He said: “I was arrested by military Police in 2010 and was Court Marshaled and later dismissed.”