The 65 metre 1,020 ton ex-Irish Naval Force Offshore Patrol Vessel formerly known as “L.E Emer” and now rechristened M.V. Emer was sold to a Nigerian maritime security contractor.

30 July, 2014

A military vessel formerly belonging to a European country navy has been arrested along the Lagos waterways by naval personnel.

The vessel now known as MV EMER, according to Alade (Rear Admiral, Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command) was arrested because the owners did not get the navy’s approval before bringing in a decommissioned military ship.

He said, “We arrested the vessel last week because it was formerly a naval ship belonging to one of the European countries.”Given that it is was military vessel, the owners should have sought military approval before bringing it into our waters but they did not.”



In March 2013, Beegeagle’s Blog recommended the acquisition of this same ship as it emerged that it was on the cusp of being decommissioned. Post-refurbishment, I guess its real worth has become apparent. This ship was acquired by the private Nigerian firm for €320,000 ONLY. What were we thinking really? Only the Thunder class ships and NNS Aradu are larger than this. It is similar in size to the four 55 metre 1,041 ton Cat class multipurpose ships. Do we not know what it can do for us in deep sea patrols?

Please the FG should pay this proactive Nigerian entrepreneur US$2 million in lieu of compensation while a letter signed by the NSA should be handed to him asking him to transfer same for the pursuit of higher national security interests. Additionally, the NN should make the sum of US$500,000 available to the same guy. With that, he can purchase another used ship not exceeding 45 metres in length and a displacement of 300 tons.

That would be fair enough.


That has been the substance of unyielding speculation in the online Irish military community since Q4 2012 by persons quoting high-level confidential information obtained within the Irish military.

The “L.E Emer P21” is the lead ship of a triad of Emer class Offshore Patrol Vessels which also includes “L.E Aoife P22” and “L.E Aisling P23”

Around 2007, the Irish Navy commenced talks for the replacement of the Emer class OPVs in a deal worth €180m. They are to expected to be replaced by the 90 metre STX OPVs. Construction work on the first two units of the new OPVs commenced in November 2011 while the delivery of the first ship which shall replace the L.E Emer is slated for January 2014.

Watch this space for any possible developments along those lines. It is after all, procurement gossip which emanated from Ireland and not from Nigeria so it has little to do with the aspirational.


Length 65.2m

Beam 10.5m

Draught 4.4m

Speed 17 knots

Range 6,750 nautical miles@12 knots

Crew 46 (5 Officers)

Main Armament
Bofors 40mm L70 Canon

Secondary Armament
2 X 20mm Rheinmetall RH202 Canon


About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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  1. beegeagle says:

    ELSEWHERE on April 1st 2013, BEEGEAGLE WROTE:

    Estimates of what it would cost to acquire this ship do not exceed $5 million AS IS. That is less than the cost of a decent new 20+metre CPC.

    The NN have a quartet of 1,041 ton ex-USCGC Cat-class patrol+logistics ship which are much older than this ship and ten years after they were first inducted, have remained in continuous service – forming the backbone of the NN patrol workforce.

    This ship can only have a force multiplier effect since they have already signed contracts for two new 1,800 ton stealth OPVs while contracts for a possible four new 2,000 ton OPVs are in the loop. This would serve as a stop-gap acquisition and we have severally recommended this at a rate of one old OPV/corvette/frigate for ever three new units acquired.

    To take her back to peak strength as was the case in the 1980s and 1990s when she was the most powerful warship in Africa, the NNS Aradu would require a complete hull and systems makeover costing no less than $65 million. So this Irish OPV is never going to be the reason why the Aradu’s upgrade was not accomplished.

    If by 2015, using monetary and barter trade deals, the FG can complete the following deals

    – three new Knud Rasmussen OPVs – $150m

    – one new Type 54 frigate and two new Type 56 corvettes – $400 million barter deal, with two free units of used Type 53H2 frigates thrown in

    – two new Daewoo Makassar LPDs – $100 million; with a used Pohang corvette thrown in for free;

    that would imply a haul of eleven oceangoing ships for $250 million in cash and $400 million in barter trade which is VERY POSSIBLE to conclude in one year IF we set our minds to it.

    Add to those the signed/soon-to-be-signed order for six 1800-2000 ton stealth OPVs from China and India and this “Le Emer” and we would have fulfilled the navy’s surface fleet ambitions stipulated in the ten year Strategic Acquisition Plan, four years clear of the plan period. Then, they can hold off for two years and in the third and final years, swoop on three submarines.

    Note that the leadship of the Joint Benin-Nigeria Anti Piracy Task Force is the NNS Nwamba, a Cat class ship which is older than this L.E Emer pictured above. Regardless, she has in conjuction with smaller vessels and boats from the Maritime Guard Command and the Benin Navy, curbed the menace of piracy by over 80% relative to the alarming crescendo attained in the February-August 2011 period when the Beninois President sought help from the Nigerian Navy.

    If acquired, the L.E Emer would be a route to the attainment of an end rather than the end in itself. With a crossing range of 12,000km, she can manage eight round trips between Calabar and Lagos on one full tank. Presence at sea is of the utmost essence at this time. That is the way to fully take charge of the EEZ. We need as many oceangoing ships as we can get.

  2. beegeagle says:

    In short, de ship don enta NN eye and dem go like privatise am….end of dtory :-). The entrepreneur played into a lucana. It is indeed a military ship which should be the NN‘s exclusive purview. To be sure, our laws forbid citizens from acquiring/wearing military uniforms, never mind operating military-grade systems.

    No need for any protracted legal tussle. Settle this guy for his monumental effort as suggested above and then give him money to acquire a smaller ship.

    Let the FG “acquire by compensation” and then, the C-in-C can commission her into NN service. Dis wan go be NNS OPPORTUNITY. Abi, does NNS FIDELITY sound better in view of the gentleman’s agreement which delivered this very valuable asset? The ship sailed direct from Europe so its operational worth is not up for discusison.

    E don hapun already….mugu fall, guyman chop. Let’s get it over and done with ASAP. The NN need this ship.

    • Solorex says:

      My Ogas, We have to take a deep look at what a military ship is-there is probably no clear definition of what a military ship is in law other than the fact that it must be owned by the military,used for military purposes ( defense,inte gathering,enforcement),probably carries weapons and equipment particular to military or possess other abilities that are strictly not permitted by law for civil class ships- To me, this ship does not fall into any of these categories. Nigerian Navy seizing this is just like Nigeria Army seizing an armoured Hilux because it is a military type vehicle! What is the difference between an Hilux that has served in Nigeria Army and My company’s Hilux? Do i require a permission from the Army to bring in an ex US Army Humvee that has been toned down to just an ordinary tokunbo humvee with no armor or MG attachment?

      Let us also look at what the law say, I do not believe there is a portion of the law that states that approval must be sought for Ships that have history in military services to come into Nigeria waters after been stripped of all military capacity-other than that necessary for a civilian ship- I may be wrong with this- it is a strong feeling. If you tell me that the decommissioning process is incomplete and the ship still posses key military capacity and constitutes a risk- or that the history was hidden from its manifest-that might work, not that it requires a special permission from the Navy-not even the registration agency.

      What we fail to see is that this guys ( contractors) are cashing in big on the Navy’s weakness- there is a guy that ordered 3 OPV type ships for escort and rig replenishment purposes in this country- new ones. We need to see the bigger picture-the Navy needs to be empowered to provide security so that these contractors can invest in other sectors of the economy-instead of cashing in on Navy’s weakness. I still can’t believe that maritime security fund has not been established and we

      This appears to somewhere between jealousy/bad belle / overzealousness or showmanship. I guess it will be amicably settled else it would turn to a legal Crinkum crankum,Gargantua gaga…………………Even the judge no go understand…..

      I fear that If the navy buys the ship by force, then with this ….NavalKakitomoboplutocracy… ,a bad government can grabalot of stuffs by force with false reports.

  3. AreJames says:

    Legally speaking is there any law against bringing in a decommissioned Naval vessel?. There should be such a law, but does it really exist in the statute books?.Really, trully speaking? We may be getting ourselves into unnecessary public legal tangles here. This ship has had its main and secondary armaments removed and apart from the HY 80 / 100 (MIL-S-16216) grade steel plates on its body is just practically a commercial vessel. It was probably acquired because of its price and need to passively protect oil workers and crews from bullets coming from pirates in fast speed boats. It is also conceivable that many naval personnel have taken a ride on this ship whilst providing security to staff of myriad companies in the Niger delta. Why did we not act in time to buy it anyway?. This beats some of the stuff we have been taking as donations from friendly navies. The lesson to the Navy leadership is to read Beegeagle blog every week, develop strategic agility and improve on global situational awareness so as not to get caught napping. This would have been a fine addition to our collection of OPVs if we had picked it up before now. I support the idea of a €1.0m compensation to the ship owners and immediate installation on guns and CIWSs on this vessel. A fitting name for the vessel would be NNS LOST AND FOUND.

  4. beegeagle says:

    The NN should have quite a number of Bofors 40mm guns in storage…deleted from decommissioned ships (early 2000s). They can start from there. This is a fine ship for sure.

    When the Cat class ships first arrived our shores, none of them arrived with weaponry. Since then, I have seen at least two of the four which have been upgunned with 40mm naval artillery. For emphasis, ALL four ships in the class carry CIS-50 12.7mm HMGs for engaging small targets and for asymmetric operations.

  5. drag_on says:

    Chai,did the Navy not know about this ship?
    Anyway,on frigate issues, the U.S. is decommissioning 7 Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates this year,including the famous USS Halyburton used in the hostage rescue mission off the Horn of Africa involving Navy seals.She was launched in ’81 and will be decommissioned in September.Their intention is to sell all seven frigates to foreign navies.
    She would be another nice stop gap ship.

    • jimmy says:

      This is what i would go for US GOVT TO NIGERIAN GOVT with the training included and Nigerian navy sailors bringing her home.

  6. dismanchild says:

    A similar ship LE Aoife, will be decommissioned next month (Sept. 2014). The NN should bid on it when it goes to auction, the price is just too sweet…………Concerning the LE Emer, the NN should generously settle the owner (Uniglobe CEO Cyprian Imobhio) just as Oga Beeg suggested. Na my 2 kobo ruling be that. GBAM.

  7. asorockweb says:

    “We arrested the vessel last week because it was formerly
    a naval ship belonging to one of the European countries. ”Given that it is was military vessel, the owners should have sought military approval before bringing it into our waters but they did not.”

    I hope NN is not making up laws.

    The NN commander should have stated which law empowers the navy to seize the ship.

    “Settling” the owner opens a path way to corruption.
    The US$2.5million suggested is close to 9x mark up.

    The still unclear cobra gunship deal may be a 6x mark up.

    One has to be careful about setting precedents that may be exploited in harmful ways in future.

    If the military gives the populace the impression that they throw money around, the populace will make sure that they don’t have any money to throw around.

    • beegeagle says:

      US$500,000 to get a new vessel.

      US$2 million to defray the cost of acquisition of EMER, refurbishment, training and cost of delivery PLUS loss of business.

      Seems fair enough to me.

      • asorockweb says:

        You are right about fairness.

        I don’t want to see an imaginative, hardworking businessman lose any money.

        But the first question is legality. Is the businessman a law-breaker?

        If he is a law-breaker, which I doubt, then one shouldn’t compensate law-breaking with profit. If he is a law-breaker and we secure a major profit for him, then others may be tempted, in connivance with NN staff, to repeat the process.

        If he is a law-breaker and we want to avoid the legal hassle of going to court, then he should be compensated, but no higher than cost plus all expenses.

        The spectre of the gunship deal being a 6x profit deal looms heavy in my mind.

    • Are James says:

      Imagine the legal (or illegal precedent being set). All armoured jeeps coming out of PROFORCE should henceforth be seized by the nigerian army… without compensation. Meanwhile American business executives are buying military aircraft everyday including a MIG 29 recently. Surplus military equipment represent the only way to get cheap capital equipment for businesses the world over we better start working on the necessary regulatory frameworks now because it has come to stay.

  8. Henry says:

    Laws differ from country to country, the fact an american recently bought a MIG-29, has no correlation with a nigerian businessman not following due process in the usage of foreign decommissioned military ship on nigeria’s independent territorial waters.

    If he broke a law by not following due process or in simple terms, not informing relevant authorities, the navy is in it’s rights to seize the vessel.

    There is no basis for any argument on the seizure of the vessel if it did not conform to our local laws.

    If he thinks the vessel is illegally seized, he can argue his case in the courts. It’s a very simple matter.

    There are 302 million guns in the U.S, but owning a gun in Nigeria is not legal.

    • beegeagle says:

      You might want to add that the use of military uniforms by non-state actors is prohibited and written into the Constitution of Nigeria.

    • AreJames says:

      I printed out the Navy Act and did not see anything about not using a decommissioned unarmed naval vessel. I used the American example just to illustrate that such things as owning war surplus is becoming very common. My friends have bought ex Desert Storm diesel generators to power their businesses. What I have said before was that such a law was needed but none currently exists. If that is truly the case, the Navy risks unnecessary publicity and legal action by not simply using the courts to challenge the ownership and then offering to pay compensation for loss of use. NIMASA and other anti oil theft organization have also been at the rough end of the Navy’s turf fighting activities in the past. Finally I think if they are serious about enforcing this non existent law, Tompolo’s outfit should be the target of immediate confiscation of all platforms and tools.

      • asorockweb says:

        You over reached a little NIMASA is a government agency tasked with security. It uses navy and police personnel.

  9. jimmy says:

    I am with OGA HENRY and the N.N..OGA BEEGS I respectfully disagree
    Let me explain
    The Good:
    Based on my Google search the nautical distance from Dublin Ireland is 2,850 nautical miles. This means steaming under her own power she is sea worthy enough to take such an arduous journey and she was crewed for this journey i.e to keep her in working order
    The Bad:
    This is a stripped down ship with nothing really on her except her engines , dashboard and maybe 1″ thick steel hull, there is no sonar, no weapons ,whatsoever,no radar/ early detection system in short it is like one big steel canoe.with OCEAN CAPACITY endurance this is what it is. Lastly Ireland did not ask Nigeria to buy this ship it was sold at auction as in : Buyer beware / sell as is.
    The Ugly:
    The ship could break down tomorrow, let the owner who bought the ship bear the costs of it breaking down it should not come out of the NN’S pocket. The minute that ship is sold to the N.N. that would be the last time anyone would see this individual.
    What this would set would be a very bad precedent, nothing against the IRISH or even the Germans if they want to sell / get rid of their ships .Nigeria needs ships that are more than functional, Nigeria needs to trade like other countries do like the N.N currently does GOVT TO GOVT,,Navy to NAVY.They most def do not go auctions no matter how respectable they are we have passed that stage.
    There is nothing to stop the next entrepreneurial Nigeria biz man to start scouring the wastelands of Hamburg/Plymouth /Norfolk (us) or/ Kiev, having a scrapheap of a ship repainted and then setting sail for Nigeria.In the past / and now Nigeria would buy a ship ( ARADU) we would send our sailors, they get trained as the ship is being built or almost finished and then they bring the ship home (this is what happening with the OPVS we are buying from China, This is the best value practice system.
    Nigeria has already built one warship (NN ANDONI), they are in the process of building another bigger warship,, they will continue to make more headway by taking the money that people are advocating to be used on this stripped steel canoe to buy BETTER UPGRADES on the yet- to- be- completed- second- warship to be built in Nigeria.
    Please the NN should not open a can of worms this individual was not certified by the N.N. to go buy them a ship,( NOBODY BEG AM O) he took a risk gambled and lost and hence the seizure, The N.N. owe him as much as they owe me- not a single Kobo.
    What they should do with the ship?

  10. jimmy says:

    You know me I am not trying to wait till everyone gives their comments before making mine.
    It is not about fairness it is more about precedent, moreover and crucially of the three services, the N.N is the most progressive yes they have not built 65m long vessels just yet how about we give them the financial opportunity to do so?.What happens when the next guy shows up with a ship? ( wetting myself) it is fully armed ready for Helio landing operations what do you do then? and the next one does it then become a quota system God forbid bad thing ! The system in place now works “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”

    • AreJames says:

      That is already happening. There is an anti oil theft navy in our waters. Why do we have to cherry pick whose business to ruin and which business enjoys govt patronage and illegal protection. Is Tom Polo better than Cyprian Imhobio?.

  11. jimmy says:

    In reply to your query ( Moment of Disclosure) Mum worked in the oil industry for almost 20 years and rose to director levels for one of the big three oil companies)
    GOVT TEMPOLO ‘S case is very different from the case of Cyprian Imhobio , One is a former founding member of MEND who as a beneficiary of the amnesty went on to found a Security company amongst other concerns. I will summarize because We covered the N’delta crisis a while however this much bears noteworthy
    @ the height of the so called “strong leader” obj reign in power and how he was dealing with the MILITANTS (Sorry no I cant help taking a dig ) Nigeria was producing approximately less than 1 million b.p.d estimates vary to as low as 750,00bpd .As recently as this week under the “soft” GEJ the results despite all the BURST PIPES @ the OIL HEADS .NIGERIA is producing 2.35million b.p.d. and is projected to go as far as “Saudi Arabian territory” 3m b.p.d in a couple of years.
    Tempolo ‘s firm has designated security clearance by the F.G. and the N.N. who frequently work with his companyand always have NN PERSONNEL ON HIS SHIPS .His foundation provides jobs for thousand of Nigerians regardless of ethnicity( Not the same can be said for the rest of the founding members of mend).
    Every day as recently as two days ago the the NN captured 11 Indians with Ghanians and Nigerians in tow stealing oil. The N’ delta exposed how difficult it would be for any nation to monitor not just Nigeria but the coastlines of Togo, Ghana ( no those two ships do not go far do they?) ( NIMASA TRACKED A SHIP FROM THERE) Benin and even as far as yes Cameroon.
    This is one ship that no one except himself Cyprian Imhobio convinced himself to buy he can convert it into a ferry if he wins it back , however the Nigerian Navy is not responsible for helping him win it back that is what the courts are for .WHILE GOVT TEMPOLO is not directly responsible for the hard earned success of the N.N AND THE JTF it is a benefit to have on the ground intelligence……….. oh by the way…………………The amnesty ends in 2015.

    • Are James says:

      The question is ..was there a law in place to back up all we did snd ate doing with Tom Polo in.terms of owning vessels that are armed?. If no, then we already in legal trouble. If yea, why is the legal umbrella not providing cover for other people operating war surplus naval vessels?. Tom Polo may be asked in court to provide.his own naval authorizations. It is the.lack of rigor by the FG and the victimization of someone with busines vision that is

  12. i doubt such a law exist, he can be coerced to sell n given money to buy another ship simple n short.

  13. ugobassey says:

    A lot speculation my Ogas but here is the law as it stands currently in our constitution. Go through it and see if you are right or wrong.

    • AreJames says:

      You need to put the Navy Act of 1964 side by side with this and the Armed Forces Act CAP A20 of the 1999 constitution. I don’t think they can lawfully, arrest, detain, judge and punish a law abiding company in this manner just for the offence of having been built its ship with thicker plates than normal.

  14. Triggah says:

    This is bullshit. Where is it done anywhere in the world? This Is not against any law whatsoever, its a strip down military vessel so? This is highly irregular and it will be embarrassing if the NN should commision the vessel for active service. If there was improper licensing of the vessel or there is discrepancies with the manifest, or it was conducting illegal activities that’s understandable.

  15. Sele says:

    this sucks

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