Naval Officer Seeks Tinubu, NASS Intervention -Alleges Denial Of Promotion Over Stance Against Oil Theft
An officer of the Nigerian Navy, Cmdr Promise Zebulon Dappa, has lamented mistreatment and denial of promotion by the Nigerian navy following his uncompromising stance against oil theft and ant-piracy operation which led to the arrest of several vessels carrying illegally refined products.
Dappa disclosed that in 2012 when he was the commander Maritime Guard command, lagos, an enforcement comprising the military, he waged war against bunkering activities which led to the arrest of several pirates and oil theft suspects who were handed over to the Department of State Services , Lagos.
Dappa in a statement said, the huge publicity the operation received then from within and outside the country stirred up bitterness from most senior principal officers at the Naval Headquarters because most of the vessels he intercepted had navy approvals.
He alleged, “The animosity generated in my antagonists by my uncompromising stance against oil theft was deep seethed as most of the vessels I arrested, incidentally had Navy approvals authorized by the then Chief of Naval Training and Operations, who was a close ally of Vice Admiral Ibok Ibas, Therefore, he and his cohorts at the Naval Headquarters then, did not relent until they got rid of me from the appointment under acrimonious circumstances and appointed his protégé to take over”
“Unfortunately for me, in 2015, Vice Admiral Ibas, became the Chief of the Naval Staff and he refused to eschew whatever bitterness and animosity he had previously harbored against me”
Dappa said, the acts of oppression against him continued through the time of former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral IE Ibas, as he was denied promotion three times, without recourse to his performance at the promotion boards or pedigree in the service.
He alleged that he was also denied all appointments commensurate with his rank and competency queried if it is wrong to do things the right way.
“After our Defence Course Qualifying Exams in 2012, out of about 90 officers that sat for the exam, I was among the 10 on the merit list that qualified for foreign defence courses. Four of us went to National Defence College Bangladesh, while the rest went to other countries. Vice Admiral Ibas promoted everybody on that merit list to the rank of Rear Admiral except me”. He said
“He made sure I was not promoted and was not going to be promoted any more in the service by ensuring my name was unjustly placed on the non-promotable list. He was therefore, economical with the truth by saying that the reason I was not promoted was because I was unsuccessful at the promotion boards. A cursory look at the last promotion board report of 2014, which promoted us from captain to Commodore based on almost the same criteria as that of the 2018 board, would validate my point” Dappa stated.
While calling on President Bola Tinubu, the national assembly and Nigerians to investigate the matter and ensure that justice prevails with the aim of encouraging other officers to do the right thing, he said, justice to the matter will eradicate impunity and build a sustainable society.
He said, ” I call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, members of the national assembly and the general public to call for the public review of the reports of the Nigerian Navy Boards of 2018, 2019 and 2020 and if am found to be deserving of promotion i should be restored to where I would have been if not for the breach.
“This is not just a call for justice and the protection of the soldier’s right. It is a call for the eradication of all forms of impunity, primordial sentiments and prejudices in the military, especially in the Nigerian Navy. Soldiers are human, Soldiers also have rights, Protect the rights of the soldier and build a sustainable society” He stressed
Contacted, the Director of Information, Naval Headquarters, Commodore Ayo Vaughan, said the navy has heard about the issue, adding that he would need to consult with the appropriate authorities on matter and get back .