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Navy seeks speedy trial of sea pirates, arrested vessels



2022 Navy Games: CNS promises to equip sports complex in Lagos

… Seeks removal from suit on Ndubuisi Kanu inheritance; judge declines***

The Nigerian Navy has called on the nation’s judiciary to ensure a speedy trial of sea pirates and other suspected criminals involved in illegal bunkering activities in the nation’s maritime environment.

Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo, made the call while delivering a lecture on his mission and vision for the Nigerian Navy to participants of Naval War College Course 6 on Friday in Calabar.

Also read: Deputy Commander of Ukraine’s Navy killed in action, says report

Gambo said that while the Nigerian Navy and maritime law enforcement agencies had made commendable efforts in the arrest and prosecution of maritime offences, there still existed some loopholes.

He that such loopholes in the nation’s judicial process were the endless trial periods for maritime crimes which had continued to be exploited by criminals.

According to him, this has led to prolonged litigations and several abandoned vessels across Nigerian Navy bases.

“The effect of this lengthy trial process on the Nigerian Navy is evident in instances where out of the 488 vessels arrested between 2015 till date, 234 were handed over to prosecuting agencies.

“Yet, only 52 have been successfully prosecuted, while others were still in the Nigerian Navy custody.

“Beyond the logistic and manpower committed to this process, the Nigerian Navy expense enormous resources to preserve and keep over 100 detained vessels afloat,” he said.

He said that due to the difficult operating environment, it was appropriate for the navy to streamline its structure and operations in line with the total spectrum maritime strategy.

The CNS said that an appropriate legal framework would be necessary for expeditious prosecution of maritime crime in order to dissuade criminals and lessen the burden on the Nigerian Navy on custody of arrested vessels.

He observed that unlike the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), police and other agencies that have the powers to prosecute, the navy was not permitted to prosecute maritime suspects in civil courts.

“The service relies on lawyers from the Ministry of Defence and other security agencies while retaining services of private lawyers to prosecute maritime criminals.

“Even though the Navy has an established directorate of legal services with the current strength of over 600 qualified lawyers.

“In the last four years, the Navy has lost a significant number of cases due to non-diligence of prosecution.

“The service has also expended almost N300million on services provided by private lawyers at the expense on the provision of other essential infrastructure for the service,” he lamented.

On the provision of naval operations equipment, the CNS lauded the Federal Government’s unprecedented interventions in equipping the Nigerian Navy for effective operations.

He added that in spite of intervention, there remained a huge platform bases needed to enable the navy meets its strategic mandate.

“Currently, the present number and needs of officers in the Nigerian Navy inventory is largely inadequate, visa-vis the scope of our task and vastness of our area of responsibility.

“From the total spectrum maritime strategy in 2012, a shortfall of eight patrol vessels and about 85 patrol craft exist, even though the projection was done almost 10 years ago.

“The inadequacy has affected the Nigeria Navy’s capacity to effectively secure the maritime environment; making fleet recapitalization a top priority and urgent requirement,” he said.

He said the navy was in dire need of bases along the coast, equipped with appropriate infrastructures like jetties, petroleum oil and lubricant storage and other facilities to sustain maritime operations.

The high point of the event was the presentation of a souvenir and a plaque by the Commandant of the Naval War College, Rear Adm. Saheed Akinwande, to the Chief of Naval Staff.

In the same vein, an Ikeja High Court on Thursday ordered one of the wives of the late Rear Adm. Ndubuisi Kanu to serve the registrar of the court’s probate, an amended originating summons she presented to the court.

Kanu was the Military Administrator of Lagos and Imo.

The court gave the order to Mrs Gladys Kanu.

The newsmen report that the court had on April 12 ordered Gladys’s counsel, Mr Wale Adesokan (SAN), to serve the respondents the amended originating summons within seven days.

The respondents in the suit are the children of the late naval chief, his two other wives – Josephine and Christine – and the Nigerian Navy.

On Thursday, Adesokan sought an order of the court to join the probate registrar in the suit but the registrar said she had not been served the originating summons

Justice Christopher Balogun ordered the counsel to serve the probate registrar the originating summons.

“There is nothing to show that the probate registrar has been served.

“I want a fair hearing for all.

The probate registrar will be served the amendment originating summons,” he ordered.

Balogun adjourned until May 16,  hearing of the application to join the probate registrar in the suit.

Counsel to the second respondent in the suit (Nigeria Navy), Mrs C.G. Cirbam, had prayed the court to strike out her client’s name from the suit.

Balogun, however, requested proof of payment of gratuity to the deceased, from the Nigerian Navy.

“I know the law.

What I am saying is that the Navy should show evidence that the deceased’s gratuity has been paid.

“The Nigeria Navy has to do more work.

How do we know if his gratuity has been paid?

” You are still here for some time; so, be very patient,” the judge ruled.

Counsel to the deceased’s children, Mr O. A. Shodimu, also prayed the court for an extension of time for his clients to file and reply to the amended originating summons.

Newsmen report that Gladys, in a suit marked LD/3685FPM/2021, is seeking the Nigeria Navy to calculate the entitlements of the late rear admiral into a bank account.

She is also seeking to be declared the only legal wife and sole widow of the deceased.

She said that she and the deceased lived together until his death.

She added that she was married to him for 27 years but was in a relationship with him for 31 years.

Balogun adjourned the case until May 16 for the response on the service of the amended originating summons.




Health and Safety

Hoes and Guns: Police confirm 8 killed in farmers, herders clash in Borno



Hoes and Guns: Police confirm 8 killed in farmers, herders clash in Borno

The Police in Borno said that eight persons, including children, lost their lives in a clash between farmers and herders over alleged land encroachment in Bayo Local Government Area of the state.

The Commissioner of Police, Abdu Umar confirmed the incident at a meeting with leaders of the farmer association and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN), on Friday in Maiduguri.

He said the report indicated that violence erupted on Nov. 30, over alleged encroachment of farmlands and murder of a farmer by unidentified assailants in the area.

“Eight persons killed including children while 47 houses and six motorcycles were burnt,” he said.

He said the police had restored normalcy to the area and arrested some suspects in connection with the disturbances, adding that the state government had provided relief items to the affected persons.

“This is a source of concern to the government and security agencies, the meeting is aimed at providing lasting solutions to the problem.

“At the end, we shall come up with modalities to check the movement of wandering herders into the state, especially in areas that witnessed violence,” he said.

According to him, a committee will be set up to enhance surveillance and monitoring as well as promote peaceful coexistence between farmers and herders.

He said membership of the committee would comprise representatives of security agencies, farmers and herders associations.

In his remarks, Ahmadu Musa-Karube, Chairman of the MACBAN, called for proactive measures to address the root cause of the problem.

Musa-Karube said that lack of cattle routes and encroachment of farmlands were largely responsible for farmer/herder clashes in the state.

Also speaking, Hassan Musa, a farmer representative, advocated a ban on night animal grazing in the state.

He also called for closer collaboration between the leadership of the farmers and herders’ unions to address the problem.

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Health and Safety

OSUN: Angry youths set ablaze Iree Oba’s Palace, days after torching Akinrun’s 



OSUN: Angry youths set ablaze Iree Oba’s Palace, days after torching Akinrun's 

Only a few days after the palace of Akinrun was torched in Osun State, the Palace of Aree of Iree in Boripe North Local Council Development Area of Osun, was on Thursday evening, also vandalised and similarly set on fire by angry youths in the town.

The palace was said to have been burnt by youths who were not pleased about the arrest of the Aogun of Iree, Chief Soliu Atoyebi, by security agents on Thursday morning.

It was attacked and burnt around 7.00 p.m, when the traditional ruler, Oba Ponle Ademola, was said to be out of the palace.

The incident led to the blockage of major roads leading to the town, while the aggrieved youths made burn fires on the roads.

Business owners in the town were said to immediately lock up their shops, while residents too locked themselves for safety measures.

The Osun Police Spokesperson, SP Yemisi Opalola, was not available for comments, as her phone was switched off.

The Maritime First learned that this was what the Osun Governor, Prince Ademola Adeleke had wanted to avoid, when he, on Monday, a day after his inauguration, issued an Executive Order, setting aside the appointment and enthronement of three traditional rulers, Aare of Iree; Akirun of Ikirun and Owa of Igbajo.

Consequently, the Palace of OWA of Igbajo has now been beefed up.

Adeleke also directed that the palaces of the three traditional rulers should be locked up, while security agents should take charge of the palaces to the prevent breakdown of law and order.

There had been palpable fear in Iree town following the appointment and approval of Prince Ponle Ademola as the Aree of Iree by the immediate past administration of Gboyega Oyetola.

Some ruling houses and groups in the town had rejected the selection of Ademola, alleging that he was imposed on the people by officials in the Oyetola’s administration.

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Health and Safety

ALARM: Kogi has 43,000 HIV carriers; Take Preventive Steps to avoid getting infected-  Commissioner



ALARM: Kogi has 43,000 HIV carriers; Take Preventive Steps to avoid getting infected-  Commissioner

At least 43,373 people are living with HIV in Kogi, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Zakari Usman, said in Lokoja on Thursday.

Usman made the declaration at a news conference organised as part of activities marking the 2022 World AIDS Day.

The 2022 World Aids Day has: “’Equalise’’ as its theme.

Usman advised residents to disregard misconceptions that HIV had been eradicated.

The commissioner said also that it was advisable to take preventive steps not to get infected and when infected, to take management measures already provided by the government.

He assured that Kogi government would not relent in its effort at reducing HIV and AIDS to the barest minimum in the state.

“I assure that government will increase the availability of quality and sustainable services for HIV handling, testing, and prevention to reduce its negative impacts.

“Government will also encourage reform laws, policies and practices to tackle the stigma and exclusion faced by people living with HIV and AIDS

“Government will as well ensure the sharing of technology to enable equal access to HIV testing in communities.

“Getting tested for HIV is the only way to find out if one is infected as all people living with HIV are eligible for treatment,’’ the commissioner said.

Usman said World AIDS Day, celebrated every Dec. 1, gave opportunities to communities and stakeholders in the fight against HIV and AIDS to be united and advance the cause of reducing the scourge.

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