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Navy wants legal backing to fight sea crimes

By Albert Akpor
LAGOS—Chief Naval Staff,  Vice Admiral Ola Sa’id Ibrahim, in Lagos, bemoaned what he described as “lack of legal instrument” backing its operations in the nation’s territorial waters saying it was hindering the fighting against sea enemies.

He, therefore, advo-cates for legal education for men and officers, adding that it will go a long way to putting a stop to the constant clash between naval perso-nnel, especially the ratings and the civilian populace.

Ibrahim made this call at the Nigeria Navy Ship, NNS, Quora Apapa, Lagos at the occasion of this year’s 2nd Western Naval Command’s Law Seminar.

Vice Admiral Ibrahim was represented by the Flag Officer Comman-ding (FOC) Navy Training College, NAVTRAC, Rear Admiral James Oladimeji.

He said: “The activities of pirates in our waterways is a major concern to the Nigeria Navy being the government agency statutorily charged with the responsibility of securing the Nigerian maritime area.

“But what are the legal instruments that support our operations in combatting the menace?”

Furthermore, there has been a constant battle ensuring the adherence of the administration of the criminal justice system in the armed forces with the rule of law.  This is as a result of the prolonged years of military involvement in Nigeria politics and its negative effects.

This situation makes it necessary for us to constantly evaluate our activities and remind ourselves of extant laws.  Accordingly, there is the need to constantly keep the personnel abreast with legal developments.  This I believe will prevent avoidable conflicts especially between the junior cadre of the armed forces and the civilians.”

Meanwhile, the guest speaker of the occasion, Mrs Margaret Orakwui, who is also the President of Nigeria Trawlers owners association  noted that the nation was losing more to the unscrupulous activities of sea enemies saying the navy was in dire need of more platforms to meet the challenges in the sea.

She also called for the creation of Coast Guard as it is in other advanced countries of the world to tackle piracy and illegal oil bunkerers.


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