10 Pirates Jailed 120 Years for Hijacking Chinese Vessel

10 Pirates Jailed 120 Years for Hijacking Chinese Vessel

Friday, July 23, 2021 4:09 pm

FILE: pirates on a waterway: abduct eight persons on waterway in Rivers

FILE: pirates on a waterway

Akin Kuponiyi
A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi Lagos State south west Nigeria today  sentenced 10 pirates to 12 years imprisonment each for hijacking a Chinese fishing vessel, FV Hai Lu Feng II, sometime in May 2020.
The presiding Judge, Ayokunle Faji also ordered each of the pirates to pay a fine of N1million each.
The Pirates who reside in Nigeria, are, Frank Abaka, Jude Ebaragha, Shina Alolo, Joshua Iwiki, David Akinseye, Ahmed Toyin, Shobajo Saheed, Adekole Philip, Matthew Masi and Bright Agbedeyi , were convicted on all the four counts charge.
They were arraigned by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) on July 13, 2020 on a four-count charge bordering on hijacking of the vessel on international waters off the coast of Cote D’Ivoire.
They pleaded not guilty, and were remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Navy, following which their trial commenced.
In his judgment , Justice Faji said the prosecution proved its case beyond all reasonable doubt that the pirates did hijack the vessel, FV Hai Lu Feng II, belonging to Haina Fishing Company.
 “I agree with the prosecution counsel Labaran Morggji that the prosecution has proved the essential ingredients of the offence committed by each of the pirates as they conspired together to commit the illegal act.
All the defendants acted in hijacking the ship to achieve their common goal.  Consequently I find each of the defendants guilty as charged in all the counts.
Each defendant is hereby sentenced to 12 years imprisonment.In addition, the defendants should pay a fine of N1million each.
The offence committed by the defendants affects the wellbeing of Nigerians and our image in the diaspora.
The naira sum, dollars and various currencies recovered from the defendants by the Nigerian Navy are hereby forfeited to Federal Government of Nigeria.”
The defendants were arrested  by the Nigerian Navy, which handed them over to the government
In the course of the trial, the prosecution 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. Section 3 of Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act, 2019, punishable under Section 2 of the same Act.

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