10 suspected pirates arraigned for hijacking fishing vessel

Ten suspected pirates have been arraigned before a Federal High Court in Lagos, for the hijacking of a fishing vessel named FV Hai Lu Feng II, belonging to Haina Fishing Company.

The arraignment was done by the Nigeria Navy through the Office of Attorney General of the Federation, AGF.

The defendants, were Frank Abaka, Jude Ebaragha, Shina Alolo, Joshua Iwiki, and David Akinseye,

Others are Ahmed Toyin, Shobajo Saheed, Adekole Philip, Matthew Masi and Bright Agbedeyi.

They were arraigned on three counts before Justice Ayokunle Faji led to court.

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AGF Counsel, Mr Laraban Magaji, 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, by putting them in fear in order to take control of the vessel.

According to Magaji, the defendants committed the offence in May this year on the international water at Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, thereby violating Section 3 of Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act 2019 and were liable to punishment under Section 2 of the same Act.

All the defendants pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.

Following the plea, their counsel, Mr Niyi Aruwayo and Mr Joe Nwokedi informed the court of their pending motion for bail application which was just served on the prosecution.

While adjourning the case till July 15, 2020, for the hearing of the defendants’ bail applications and commencement of trial, Justice Faji ordered that they should be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Navy, which brought them to court amidst heavy security.

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