The Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has called on the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to immediately release its members in its detention or charge them to court accordingly.
The call was contained in a statement issued by the President General, MWUN, Comrade Prince Adewale Adeyanju in Lagos on Monday.
Adeyanju disclosed that 13 dockworkers and crew were arrested and detained by the NDLEA since the 13th October, 2021.
According to him, the workers were reportedly arrested while on duty onboard MV Cha Yaree Naree which berthed at the Green View Development Nigeria Limited terminal on which narcotics were said to be found.
He contended that there was no information that the said drugs were found on the workers.
“Surprisingly, the poor workers who were neither the ship agent nor the consignee of the vessel were arrested and kept incarcerated but the NDLEA since October 13th, 2021 till date without being released or charged to court as would have been done in line with the tenets of the rule of law.”
The President General further informed that another four dockworkers who were on duty onboard MV Karteria were on November 7, 2021 arrested the NDLEA operatives over a bag said to have been found in the vessel, the content of which was not disclosed.
He noted that again, the bag that was found with undisclosed content was not found on any of the “innocent” dockworkers arrested and kept in detention for days without being released or charged to court.
He added that their cell phones were also said to have been arrested by the NDLEA operatives.
“Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria is worried as its members seem to be the targeted for arrest while the ship agent and the consignee who are in possession of the ship manifest are not even interrogated let alone arrested.
“Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria is not in anyway in support of either importation or peddling of hard drugs into the country but frowns at the continued harassment, intimidation, arrest and detention of our members who have been kept incommunicado for over two weeks without being released or charged to court.
“This is not in tandem with the global best practices.
“Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria hereby call on the NDLEA to immediately release its members in its detention or charge them to court accordingly”, he concluded.
Photo: Comrade Prince Adewale Adeyanju, President General, Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria.
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