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Nigerian Court Jails 10 Pirates For Hijacking 2020 Chinese Vessel



The Federal High Court in Lagos has sentenced 10 pirates involved in the hijack of a Chinese merchant vessel FV HAILUFENG II, in may 2020 to 12 years imprisonment each with a N250,000 fine on each count.

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

The defendants were arrested in May this year by the Nigerian Navy, which handed them over to the government.

In the course of the trial, the government told the court that the defendants “while armed with weapons, committed an illegal act of violence against the crew on board FV Hai Lu Feng II belonging to Haina Fishing Company by putting them in fear in order to take control of the vessel.”

They were charged on 3 counts of offences contravening Section 3, 10 and 12 of the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act 2019.

Justice Ayokunle Faji stated that punishment for such piracy must be proportionate to the offence committed by the convicts to serve as deterrence to others.

The lead prosecution counsel, Labaran Magaji, averred that the verdict would send strong warning to criminal elements.

The defence counsel announced that the judgment would be appealed.



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