The Defence Headquarters on Tuesday vowed that some suspected Pro-Biafran militants, who hijacked a merchant vessel off the coast of Nigeria on Friday would be treated as criminals and saboteurs.
The ship, believed to be an oil tanker, was said to have been hijacked by some militants, who issued a 31-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to release the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.
While some maritime industry sources claimed that the vessel was an oil tanker seized about 160 kilometres off the Bakassi Peninsula near the border with Cameroon, the Defence Headquarters told the The PUNCH on Tuesday that the ship was seized about 7.5 nautical miles off the Port of Cotonou.
The suspected pro-Biafran militants had hijacked the foreign merchant ship and threatened to blow it up with its crew if the Federal Government failed to release Kanu.
It was learnt that the 31-day ultimatum by the militants was given at the weekend by one ‘General Ben.’
Kanu is being prosecuted by the Department of State Services for running an illegal organisation (IPOB), threatening to break away from Nigeria to create an independent country; importing radio transmitters and making inciting and seditious statements, while his co-accused persons had been charged with possession of firearms.