The Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act has been utilized to secure 23 convictions since its emergence in 2019.
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Bashir Jamoh revealed this while receiving a branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) at the agency, recently.
According to the NIMASA boss, 10 of the convicts were sentenced to ten years imprisonment, another 10 sentenced to seven years, while 3 foreigners were fined for their involvement in crimes within the Nigerian territorial waters.
Jamoh opined that this will serve as a deterrent to other criminal elements who are still engaged in the nefarious activities on Nigerian waters, while stressing that the maritime sector’s success is dependent on an effective judiciary system in the nation.
Assuring that the agency will continue to take deliberate steps to work with critical institutions and professional bodies to reposition Nigeria’s maritime industry, the NIMASA boss maintained that working with the judiciary was sacrosanct to the agency given the complex and time sensitive nature of maritime issues and the need for prompt resolutions.
“Prompt dispensation of justice is important for achieving success in our drive to elicit a sustained investors’ confidence, and the judiciary is a critical factor in this drive. When there is a delay in a case, investment opportunities are lost. Let me therefore use this opportunity to solicit the cooperation of the Nigerian Bar Association to always push for timely dispute resolution for maritime related issues, as we all have one role or another to play in catalyzing the Nigerian economy,” Jamoh said.
He said that the agency will not relent in its efforts to ensure a safe and secure maritime domain in line with its mandate, even as it continues to work closely with other organs of government, the international community, and other stakeholders to achieve improved security on Nigerian waterways and the entire Gulf of Guinea.
Jamoh averred that training and development were important components of the agency’s administrative growth, stressing that NIMASA has a system where officers, including those in the Legal Unit are trained in various fields and Admiralty Law in the World Maritime University (WMU), Sweden, for global competitiveness.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the NBA branch in the Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Adjeh Monday, commended the NIMASA leadership for all the achievements of the Agency, reiterating the need for continuous collaboration with relevant stakeholders to advance the Nation’s maritime industry.
He said the association will continue to seek more value-adding models of collaborating with the Agency, to provide necessary assistance to NIMASA in its bid to ensure a safe and secure maritime space.
This information was disseminated via a press statement issued by Mr. Osagie Edward, Assistant Director, Public Relations, NIMASA.