THE Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act, signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in June 2019, is producing a better appreciation of Nigeria’s determination to end piracy and sea robbery in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea.
Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, disclosed this at the maiden edition of the Nigerian Admiralty Law Colloquium organised in Lagos by the Agency, in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS).
President of the Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, lauded NIMASA as a key organ of economic development, saying the admiralty law conferences introduced by the Agency are helping to streamline the application of the antipiracy law.
The colloquium had the theme, ‘Achieving Maritime Safety, Security and Shipping Development (TRIPOD S) through Enforcement of Legislations and the Implementation of the Deep Blue Project: The Role of the Judiciary and State Actors.’
Jamoh said the admiralty law conference, in its 10th edition this year, had achieved significant milestones in the continued effort to better maritime law administration in Nigeria. But the meeting was renamed this year to reflect current challenges and widen the scope of participation, he stated.
Jamoh stated, “The admiralty law conference instituted by NIMASA has achieved important milestones in the pursuit of its target of continuously improving maritime law administration in Nigeria. I am happy to announce that the key recommendations captured in the communiqué of last year’s conference would be sent to the National Assembly for the necessary legislative actions expected to improve the SPOMO Act.
The admiralty law seminar was instituted by NIMASA in 2009 for judges in pursuit of the agency’s broad mandate to promote the development of shipping and capacity building in the maritime sector. The initial target was judges of the Federal High Court, who have exclusive jurisdiction over admiralty matters under Section 25| (l) (g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria I999 (as amended). The scope was later expanded to include judges of the State High Court of the littoral states. It was further enlarged to include justices of the Court of Appeal, due to their strategic role in the dispensation of justice.
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