Nigarian national claims ownership of grounded tanker
The Nigerian national Robert M. Saigba has claimed ownership of the "Tamaya 1". Saigba, accompanied by two of the four crew members who were on board the ship, arrived in Monrovia on May 13. He claimed to be one of two shareholders in the company H. Matic’s Resources Limited based in Bayelsa State in Nigeria. The company is engaged in the supply of petroleum products, marine logistics, haulage, civil engineering and general contractual services.
According to the Ministry of Defense, the three men came on board the "Arik Air" of their own volition and were not arrested, and they have since been cooperating with Liberian security institutions to unravel circumstances surrounding the vessel.
Saigha told Liberian security personnel that he bought theship in 2015. Before it was transferred to him, it was used to transport groundnut oil from Senegal to Europe.
The vessel set sail on April 22 from Dakar, Senegal for Nigeria and developed a technical fault at sea.
It was later established through contact via s fishing vessel which he bought to trace the vessel that the "Tamaya 1" was found sinking in an area 7' 07'' North and 13' 08'' degrees East off Freetown and subsequently drifted to Liberia. According to Omowho Bernard, the chief engineer of the vessel who came along with Saigba, the ship started to leak from the engine room and all efforts to correct the situation failed.
He said eventually, he and fellow crew members, including the captain, disembarked using a lifeboat to board a fishing boat, which came to their rescue.
The lifeboat was abandoned at sea and drifted to the coast of Edina in Grand Bassa County.
Investigation conducted by the Liberian Coast Guard (LCG) established that it was indeed one of the two lifeboats of the ship.