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Two years after they was seized on suspicion of containing illegal explosives, two containers were yesterday released to the consignee, Primetake, manufacturers of specialist ammunition and explosives, by the Nigerian Navy Ordinance Depot (NOD), in Lagos.
THISDAY gathered that the release of the containers, containing 1,000 riot runner launchers and 320 smoke tear gas grenade explosives, was after the Nigerian Navy Headquarters (NHQ) issued a directive to the NOD on April 15, 2014.
The containers were first searched before they were handed over to the consignee in the presence of key stakeholders such as the Nigerian Police, Department of State Services, Nigerian Maritime Agency (NIMASA), the Nigerian Customs Services (NCS) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
The search, it was gathered, was to ascertain whether what was in the manifest, tallied with what was in the containers, and as such, the naval personnel on ground offloaded the explosives which were packed in crates.
Some of the crates were opened and its contents tallied with the manifest and were approved by all the stakeholders as genuine before it was agreed that the container could be taken away by the consignee.
In an interview with THISDAY, the Deputy Admiral Superintendent, NOD, Commodore Dogara Albehu, said “The containers were seized in January 2012 by the maritime component of NIMASA that the navy attached to them. They were seized on suspicion of illegality and now the due process has been followed right from the office of the National Security Adviser to the NHQ and to us the custodians of the consignments.
“Thus, the Federal Government has directed the release of the consignment because due process has been followed in ascertaining the genuineness of the products.”
Afterwards, all the key stakeholders signed the release form to the consignee who also countersigned to acknowledge that he had received the two containers from the navy.
Representative of the consignee, Isaac Ebubeogu, who expressed his happiness at the release of the containers, said they were imported from China for the Nigerian Police.