Anti-Piracy Law: All eyes on Nigerian Judiciary, says Alalade


Following the ongoing trial of the ten suspects arrested by the Nigerian authorities over alleged piracy related matters, a former President of the Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Senior Staff of Water Transport, Engr. Matthew Alalade has said that all eyes are now on the Nigerian judiciary to do the right thing so as to serve as deterrent to others who may choose to toe the same path.

Alalade who made this observation in an exclusive interview with our correspondent in Lagos warned that the judiciary should not fail the maritime industry stakeholders as they had been yearning for the abatement of piracy but for the lack of legal instrument before now.

He reiterated that owing to the absence of law specifically for piracy, the criminals were having a field day saying, “but now that we have anti-piracy law, all eyes are now on the judiciary to do the right thing.”

“Industry watchers are looking up to the judiciary to save the industry. We are aware that some powerful people are behind the pirates. We heard the DG NIMASA saying some time ago that some IOCs are behind these kidnappings meaning that there are some people behind it but we are yet to prove it.

“With the enactment of the anti-piracy law, the law enforcement agencies as well as the judiciary no longer have any excuse not to prosecute and secure convictions for sea pirates and other criminals at sea. In the case of the ten suspects currently undergoing trial, the security agencies have done their parts by arresting them and handing over to the judiciary for trial, it is now left for the judiciary to live up to expectations. So, the judiciary must be up to date because we are watching them to counter the notion that powerful people are behind piracy”, he added.

On the collaboration between the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Alalade said, “As it is, the security agencies have been doing their best in abating this crime but the more they try to stop it, the more the crime is thriving due to absence of a legal instrument to actually tackle the menace. Despite the collaborations, we are still hearing the news but with the coming of a legal instrument, I think that will drastically reduce the trend.”

The former Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers boss while applauding the achievements of the new Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh in his first 100 days in office said, “we have seen the new dispensation in NIMASA, he has been performing well. He issued out notices on the examination extension and even classified seafarers as essential workers. So, I think the man has taken a good lead in all the maritime agencies. The man has the welfare of the seafarers at heart, by stating that we are essential workers; that is a good omen. We pray that man will succeed in his job.”

Photo: Former President of Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Senior Staff of Water Transport Association, Engr. Matthew Alalade.

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