It was a sorrowful day last Saturday as families and friends of Sergeant Chinedu Patrick Osakwe, a naval officer killed by sea pirates on 9th of March laid his remains to rest.
Close relatives of the officer who spoke with Shipping Position Daily confirmed that he was buried in his family compound at Umusam Quaters, Utagba-Una, Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta State.
According to the family source, the deceased was one of the seven naval personnel escorting an unnamed oil vessel when it was suddenly attacked by a gang of pirates, armed with sophisticated weapons including machine guns.
The attack occurred at some 32 nautical miles off the coast of Brass, in Port Harcourt.
The relative told our correspondent that Chinedu Patrick Osakwe, 38 years old, was reportedly shot on the back and subsequently bled to death.
The families of the officer have alleged that while on duty, the naval personnel were not properly equipped. He alleged that the seven officers were given just two riffles, out of which one was not working well.
According to him, after he was shot,”They called for helicopter and waited for several hours, if help had arrived in time, he would still be alive"
Shipping Position Daily learnt that there is serious investigation going on by the Navy into these reports.
The deceased officer is survived by a wife and two female children of ages five and two.
The relative said "The gun they were given was just two riffles and one of the riffles was bad.
There is a serious problem at the office now concerning the lack of arms"
"He served in Oghara, he was only posted from Delta State to Port Harcourt one week ago"
"In this family, he is the most humble and very intelligent person, he is 38 years old, he is still a young man"
"He is a sergeant, he is supposed to have his staff sergeant promotion this year, he is 11AK, enlisted into the Nigerian Navy in 2002, now he is supposed to be 17 years in service, but now they have wasted him for us" he said.
The pirates boarded the Ill fated vessel with the aid of an elongated ladder and broke into the accommodation, vandalized the cabins and took crew belongings and vessel’s properties.
They then proceeded to the engine room, kidnapped five men and escaped. The remaining crew members sailed the vessel under escort to a safe anchorage.