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Navy Arrests 214 Vessels, Convicts 9 In 2 Yrs

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The Nigerian Navy says it has arrested 214 vessels for maritime crimes in the last two years and handed over for prosecution but only nine have been successfully prosecuted.

The Navy also assured the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of its readiness to support with movement of logistics in its areas of operations for the forthcoming general election.

The Chief of Training and Operations (CTops), Rear Admiral Mackson Makonju Kadiri disclosed this during a press briefing on the Nigerian Navy scorecard for 2018 in Abuja.

Kadiri said the poor prosecution of maritime crime is as a result of weak legal framework for prosecution and called for a strong legal framework to avoid delay. He noted that the essence of law enforcement is to deter crimes but if such delay continues, the objectives of the law enforcement agencies will be defeated.

He, however, noted that the activities of the Nigerian Navy in 2018 led to an increased production of maritime output sector.

He further disclosed that the nation lost 277,040 barrels of crude, 23.1 million litres of AGO,212,610 litres of PMS and 1.2 million litres of DPK to illegal oil refining activities in 2018.

Recounting the services’ achievement in 2018, he noted that from January to December, 34 pirates’ attacks on ships were reported with nine successful and 25 unsuccessful, adding that 20 robbery attacks were also reported in the year under review with six successful and 14 unsuccessful.

He further noted that 46 vessels and barges were arrested for committing various maritime crimes in the period under review,adding that 31 large wooden boats were arrested while 176 large wooden boats were destroyed in the same year.

In the same vein, the Nigerian Navy destroyed 637 illegal refining sites and arrested 104 speed boats and 340 suspects for illegal oil bunkering or smuggling.

While responding to questions, the Chief of Policy and Plans, Rear Admiral Begroy Ibe-Enwo said proper legislation remains the way out for the delayed prosecution of maritime offenders.

Ibe-Enwo said the process is a work in progress to have a dedicated  maritime law enforcement exercise towards ensuring that legal issues are rolled our faster.

He, however, called for a dedicated court for efficient and effective dispensation of maritime justice.


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