Nigerian Navy Faces N200m Suit Over Seizure Of Vessel


Akin Kuponiyi
An aggrieved company, Mercury Oil company, alongside four crew members, Folorunso Olayiwola, Joshua A. Arthur, Asabalahie O. Johnson and Wale Alade, have slammed a N200 million suit on Nigerian Navy, over an alleged unlawful detention of its operational vessel named ‘MT Sapphire 1′.
Joined as co-respondents in the ensuing legal hostility are the Chief of Naval Staff and the Flag Officer Commanding, (FOC), Central Naval Command.
The company and other applicants in the fundamental enforcement suit filed before a Federal High Court in Lagos, western Nigeria, by a Lagos lawyer Barrister Norrison I. Quakers (SAN) in an affidavit in support of the suit deposed to by Adekunle Folorunsho,the managing Director of Mercury Oil company averred that sometime in February 2014, the vessel and its crew members were arrested by officers of the Nigerian Navy along the Brass Rivers, Bayelsa state, on suspicion of engaging in illegal operations.
Adekunle averred that after thorough investigation by the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC), which is the body responsible for the investigation of the alleged illegal act, the applicants were cleared of any wrongdoing or illegal activities, and recommended that the applicants should be released but the said directives of NSCDC were not immediately obeyed and that the Nigerian Navy only obeyed in part by releasing the vessel’s crew members after seven months, and wilfully refused, ignored and failed to comply with the said directive to release the vessel from February 2014 to date.
During the period of the arrest and detention, the vessel was loaded with over 280,000 litres of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) but while in custody of the Nigerian Navy the AGO was illegally siphoned by the respondents leaving only the sludge remnant.
The deponent averred further that the continued detention of the vessel has resulted in the loss of over N200 million …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper