Norwegian Defense Chief Haakon Bruun-Hansen, at a military inquiry yesterday apologized for doing a poor job of selling several surplus vessels in 2012 and 2013, as they’ve wound up in the possession of Nigerian warlords.
According to NewsinEnglish.no, Bruun-Hansen admitted that military officials did not carry out a thorough check of the company, CAS Global, that bought six missile torpedo boats (MTBs) and the support vessel KMN Horten three years ago.
“The fact that the vessels have landed in Nigeria under Nigerian flag reflects a breakdown in our systems, and I apologize for that,” Bruun-Hansen said.
Although he wasn’t the defense chief at the time, Hansen took responsibility for the sales which became a scandal under his tenure.
The so-called “Nigerian boats” scandal emerged after a series of reports in newspaperDagbladet, and several members of the parliamentary committee noted on Thursday that a simple Internet search would have revealed that CAS Global only had a postbox address. Defense department officials nonetheless received the Nigerians who represented CAS Global and wanted to inspect the vessels that were up for sale.
Norwegian regulations prohibit the sales or export of material or services to private buyers who may arm the vessels and offer them for use in areas of conflict, and those regulations were violated.Now Norwegian government seeing the change of government in Nigeria now they feel is a threat to there national interest, thats why they come up with the idea of apology.and they think aswel that militant might go back to the creek because of how Jonthan was manipulated out of power by the North.and they may use the warship against Nigeria,Buhari govermnent elect.
A former Niger Delta militant, Mr. Government Ekpemupolo, alia Tompolo, has bought seven decommissioned Norwegian battleships,
Reports by a Norwegian newspaper, Dagbladet, said that the fast-speed Hauk-class guided missile boats had been re-armed with new weaponry.
The report also revealed that Ekpemupolo’s most recent purchase is a KNM Horten, a fast-attack craft now used in fighting piracy in Nigeria’s waterways.
It was learnt that in spite of his alleged history of violence, Tompolo, now controls the Global West Vessel Service, a privately owned contractor for maritime security for the Nigerian Maritime Safety Agency.
Buying arms from Norway requires an export license from Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ships were reportedly sold first to CAS Global, a British security company that has such a license, after which Ekpemupolo reportedly bought the ships from the British company.
Dagblade reported that the seven Norwegian ships are now part of the company’s maritime fleet patrolling under a contract for the Federal Government.