The suspects were arrested while using a tug boat to retrieve the distressed barge, Rear Adm. Sidi-Ali Usman, Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, said.
Sidi-Ali told journalists that the security agencies were making efforts to ensure the barge was salvaged from its present position.
He said that a naval team on routine patrol spotted the barge, identified as MV LILA.
He said that the navy had taken measures to prevent the likelihood of oil spill and consequential damage to the environment.
Sidi-Ali, however, said that investigations into the incident had since commenced.
He warned that illegal oil vessels without valid documents plying the waterways in the area would be seized when they were sighted.