Nigeria: FG mulls new law on piracy and robbery at sea

By Godwin Oritse & Mariam Eko

THE Federal Government has commenced the enactment  of new laws that will  checkmate the activities of pirate attacks and related crimes against ships at sea.

Disclosing this in Lagos , Senior Special Adviser to the President on maritime matters, Mr. Leke Oyewole said that the move is part of Government efforts at curbing the menace of pirates in the country and waters of neighbouring countries.

The Senior Special Adviser disclosed this at a one day conference on ‘preventing Terrorism and Insurgency in Nigeria maritime domain’  organised by the Maritime Reporters Congress  of Nigeria (MARCON) He said that the  bill when passed into law will have a far reaching effect on pirates and their activities.

Oyewol;e said that between the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy, a bill; has been sent to the National Assembly and under going legislative process.

He disclosed that the government has also concluded plans to established a maritime intelligence desk so as to enable sister agencies in the sector share intelligence  amongst themselves.

“When we have the State security service, the Police, the Navy all working together, and the Navy goes ahead to effect an arrest on the waters, they do not have the power to prosecute, even NIMASA with their increased capacity to on water also do not have the power to prosecute but by they bring back these criminals to an intelligence desk, and Police with the power to prosecute can as well follow up these crimes to a logical conclusion.

“As far as criminality is concerned  in the maritime sector where I assist the Commander in Chief, I know that we will get down to that very soon.

“The bill did not originate from my office, it is with the National Assembly to wrap up , the bill first went from NIMASA  coming from the International Maritime Organization , IMO to Navy who will define the meaning of piracy.


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