In a shocking move, the Norwegian government has sold a fleet of its decommissioned, but still sophisticated, battleships and combat boats to a former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, who for years led a devastating insurgency against the Nigerian government in the oil-rich region, a Norwegian newspaper reported Saturday.
As a leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, Mr. Ekpemupolo, well known as Tompolo, confronted the Nigerian military, killing many and disrupting oil and gas production.
An amnesty deal announced by the Nigerian government, by former President Umaru Yar’adua, in 2009, ended the fighting.
Tompolo has since emerged a close ally of President Goodluck Jonathan’s government, winning luceative government contracts and becoming very rich.
But after giving up fighting, surrendering his arms, and leading his men to hand over their weapons, Dagbladet, the Norwegian newspaper, said Tompolo in 2012 received at least six decommissioned Norwegian battleships.
Among them were six fast-speed Hauk-class guided missile boats, now re-armed with new weapons.
The most recent hardware, according to the report, is the KNM Horten, a fast-attack craft now allegedly used for anti-piracy patrol in the Nigerian waters.
The report said the deal was implemented through a shell maritime Security Company based in the United Kingdom, CAS Global…