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Buhari not happy with govs inability to pay salaries, rejects ministerial list



…As NDLEA fails to bring Kashamu to court

An early minute brow between President-Elect, General Muhammadu Buhari and governors elected on the platform on the All Progressives Congress may be in the offing as Buhari has asked the governors to steer clear of his ministerial list.

Vanguard gathered that Buhari is contemplating a system operated in the second republic during the era of National Party of Nigeria, NPN, where appointment of ministers was done by the national secretariat of the party and not by the governors.

A source at the National Headquarters of the APC yesterday said that Buhari had directed the leadership of the party to pass the message of non interference to the governors.

According to the source, Buhari could not find any justification for the state governors to choose Ministers for him after they had chosen their own commissioners without unnecessary interferences from the federal government.

Vanguard learnt that there had been a list of Ministers submitted by the governors which was rejected.

The source also hinted that the president-elect was not happy with the governors on their inability to pay workers’ salaries after collecting their states allocation from the federal government.

It will be recalled that APC governors had recently met with Buhari in Abuja where they requested his intervention to pay salaries of workers, noting the dwindling state of the economy.

But Buhari reportedly asked them to pay salaries having collected their allocation.

Mr.  Buruji Kashamu

Mr. Buruji Kashamu

In the mean time, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency on Monday failed to bring the senator-elect for Ogun-East senatorial district, Mr. Buruji Kashamu, before a Federal High Court, Lagos, for extradition hearing despite a declaration by the agency that he would be produced in court.

The agency, whose operatives had laid siege to Kashamu’s residence in Lagos since Saturday, said on Sunday that it had received a formal extradition request on Kashamu from the United States government and was coming to court to secure an extradition order on Monday.

Though Kashamu’s lawyer, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), had come to court early in anticipation of the NDLEA’s declaration, the agency, however, failed to bring Kashamu to court.

Izinyon’s colleague, Mr. Ajibola Oluyede, who later came to court and appeared in chambers before Justice Ibrahim Buba with a fresh application, said the NDLEA failed to produce a warrant of arrest it claimed to have secured.

Though Oluyede moved his ex parte application in chambers and did not oblige journalists any copy of it, our correspondent gathered that it was an application to restrain the NDLEA from further laying siege to Kashamu’s house.

It was learnt that Buba, however, refused to make the order but asked Oluyede to put the respondents on notice.

Oluyede, who later addressed journalists, said Buba had ordered the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), and the Chairman of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, to appear in court on Tuesday to explain why they should not be jailed for contempt of court.

Oluyede, who accused Adoke and Giade of illegality, challenged them to produce the US extradition request for Kashamu.

He said Kashamu and himself were ready on Monday and had waited in vain till 12pm for the NDLEA to produce the warrant of arrest and bring it to court, following which he had to come to court himself with a fresh application.

There was no indication that NDLEA had filed any application before the court and the NDLEA’s case against Kashamu was not listed for hearing on Monday before any judge.

But the agency’s Head of Public Affairs, Mitchell Ofoyeju, in a statement on Monday afternoon, said the agency could not bring Kashamu to court because he failed to turn himself over to the operatives in his house.

Ofoyeju said, “Senator-elect Buruji Kashamu has failed to appear in court from his house where he is being closely monitored by the operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

“The agency is working hard to ensure that he submits himself to the due process of the law. His house remained cordoned off by anti-narcotic officers pending his appearance in court.”

But Oluyede claimed that an operative of the NDLEA came to the court registry late Monday afternoon to secure a provisional warrant of arrest.

According to Oluyede, the move was a confirmation that the NDLEA had no extradition request for Kashamu from the US, adding that the move was also a confirmation of Kashamu’s alarm that the NDLEA was doing the bidding of his political enemies.

The lawyer alleged that the embattled senator-elect’s enemies planned to abduct and forcibly take him to the US.

Oluyede said he was told by the leader of the NDLEA operatives manning Kashamu’s house that they were acting under the instruction of Giade, whom he said was only given an oral instruction by Adoke to arrest Kashamu.

The lawyer, in his fresh application, is seeking an order “directing the respondents to immediately release the applicant unconditionally, within two hours of making this order, from any arrest, detention or other restraint whatsoever that the respondents might have instigated or effected upon him.”

Meanwhile, the premises of the Lagos Division of the Federal High on Oyinkan Abayomi Drive, Ikoyi, was on Monday flooded with the loyalists of Kashamu – in anticipation of his appearance in court.

The loyalists bore placards with inscriptions such as, “We want Kashamu here in Nigeria,” “Don’t steal our joy from us,” “Don’t take Kashamu away from his people.” “Kashamu is not a drug baron.” “‘US, mind your business,” “We want due process of law,” “Obj, leave Kashamu alone,” among others.

A former state secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State, who spoke on behalf of the peaceful protesters in court, Yemi Akinwonmi, described the move to extradite Kashamu as “a reckless display of power.”

Akinwonmi, who challenged the NDLEA to present the extradition request it claimed to have received from the US, insisted that the extradition plot against Kashamu was purely political, adding also that the NDLEA had not secured any warrant to arrest Kashamu.

Vanguard With additional reports from Punch 


WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners



…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live



The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured



…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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