Tag Archives: pirates

[Lagos] Ten suspected pirates get no bail

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The Federal High Court in Lagos has refused to grant bail to 10 suspected pirates accused of hijacking a fishing vessel, FV Hai Lu Feng II, belonging to Haina Fishing Company.

Justice Ayokunle Faji denied them bail on Wednesday on the ground that the gravity of the charge against them bordered on the threat to national security.

He also considered the punishments for the alleged crimes, which stipulates a life sentence or at least a fine of not less than N50 million and restitution, if found guilty under the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Act of 2019.

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This is the first trial to be prosecuted under the law and Justice Faji has ordered an accelerated hearing of the case.

After his ruling on the bail applications, the court listened to the testimony of a fourth prosecution witness.

The witness and a police superintendent, Danladi Aliyu, told the judge that his team was on the Federal Government’s panel to probe piracy.

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Sometime in May, the team was tasked with interrogating the defendants.

But counsel to the first, third, fourth, eighth, and ninth defendants, Omoniyi Aruwayo, objected to the admission of certain confessional statements allegedly made by the suspects during the interrogation.

The lawyers individually argued that the information contained in the statements were obtained under duress and after several beatings.

They urged the court not to accept the statements in evidence as exhibits.

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This development prompted Justice Faji to conduct a trial-within-trial to scrutinise the statements.

Giving his testimony, Aliyu denied that the defendants were tortured and informed the court that the process was done in a conducive atmosphere which had light, AC, TV and a refrigerator.

He added that lawyers from the legal aid counsel, who represented the defendants, witnessed the interrogation.

The witness also insisted that other officers from the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigerian Navy were also present at the interrogation.

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In his ruling, Justice Faji adjourned until August 4 for the continuation of the trial-within-trial during which a video of the statement taking process would be watched.

The defendants in the case are Frank Abaka, Jude Ebaragha, Shina Alolo, Joshua Iwiki, David Akinseye, Ahmed Toyin, Shobajo Saheed, Adekole Philip, Matthew Masi, and Bright Agbedeyi.

They were arraigned on July 13 on three counts and were accused of hijacking a fishing vessel.

The prosecuting counsel for the Federal Government, Laraban Magaji, said the defendants committed the offence in May on the international water at Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, thereby violating Section 3 of Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act, 2019, and were liable to punishment under Section 2 of the same Act.

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They all pleaded not guilty during their arraignment and after their plea, the prosecution immediately called its first three witnesses.

Last week, the defendants’ counsel argued their applications for bail on the grounds that there was no cogent information in the charge, and that the offences were bailable ones which the court has the powers to grant.

Some of the defendants were also said to be ill and needed medical attention outside their detention facilities.

The court, however, ruled that there was no proof of the nature of the said illnesses in their applications.


#Newsworthy…

4 Nigerian Navy killed in pirate fight.


A gunfight between sea pirates and some Nigerian Navy personnel on Thursday January 2, allegedly left 4 of the security operatives who were part of a six-man Naval rescue squad dead.

A top Naval source who spoke to Premium Times, said four Naval ratings were allegedly killed in the attack which occurred within the jurisdiction of NNS Delta, an operations base in Warri which is one of the seven units under the jurisdiction of the Central Naval Command.

The Nigerian Navy personnel were reportedly sent in to counter an attack launched by the sea pirates on one of Nigeria’s dredgers, MV AMBIKA, a Sterling Oil dredger close to Ramos River entrance.


The source said;

“The suspected sea robbers had boarded the vessel and abducted three crew members (two Russians and one Indian), leaving behind five other crew members before the team arrived”

Some of the Nigerian Navy personnel who allegedly died in the gunfight that ensued after they arrived the scene of the attack were said to be on the ranks of Petty Officer, Able Seaman, Seaman and an Ordinary Seaman.

Though two other Nigerian Navy personnel escaped unhurt, a vessel was allegedly stolen by the sea pirates.

Corpses of the late security operatives have reportedly been moved to the navy hospital in Warri, while efforts to rescue the three foreigners has been intensified


#Newsworthy…