Jamoh solicits support for Nigeria’s bid to regain lost category C status at IMO
Ahead of the December International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Council Election, Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has called on the international maritime community to support Nigeria’s bid for reinstatement into Category C.
Speaking at the third Seminar of the Atlantic Center in Lisbon Portugal on Tuesday, Jamoh sought the support of Nigeria’s friends to vote for the country into the council of IMO in the election that comes up in few weeks’ time.
He said: “We ask for your vote and count on your continued confidence in the efforts of Nigeria to work in partnership with other nation-states in the Gulf of Guinea to continue keeping our corridor of the Atlantic Ocean a safe passage for seafarers, their vessels, and the vital supplies they transport for our common sustenance”.
The DG who also requested removal of Nigeria by the global shipping community from designation as a war risk zone which causes increased insurance premium also explained recent efforts by the Federal Government to make the country’s waters safer for crew members, vessels, and cargoes.
He added that deployment of security vessels on waters adjoining the Atlantic Ocean should be in line with international laws without undermining the national sovereignty of countries within West and Central Africa.
Jamoh said “In 2018, Nigeria initiated a project known as Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure (Deep Blue Project), as a robust tool to combat piracy, armed robbery, and other maritime crimes within Nigeria’s territorial waters and by extension the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).
“To further bolster Nigeria’s effort in fighting crimes at sea, the government signed into law the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act, (SPOMO) 2019. This piece of legislation gave effect in Nigeria to the provisions of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982 on piracy and the International Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Navigation (SUA), 1998 and its protocol.
“Since the law came into effect, convictions of at least 20 pirates have been secured under the Act with offenders currently serving various jail terms.
“At the regional level, following the United Nations Security Council resolutions of 2011 and 2012 Calling on the countries in the ECOWAS, ECCAS, and the GoG to work together on a strategy to fight piracy, armed robbery, and other illegal activities at sea in the Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria joined other heads of States and governments to sign the Yaoundé Declaration on the 25th of June 2013 to collaborate in the fight against piracy and other crimes in their Atlantic oceans.
” This decoration known as the ‘Yaoundé declaration’ led to the establishment of the Inter-regional Coordination Centre (ICC Yaoundé)
“Further to this, Nigeria together with the ICC Yaoundé is engaged with the major international shipping industry and commodities groups (INTERTANKO, INTERCARGO, ICS, OCIMF, BIMCO) to develop a framework known as the Gulf of Guinea, Maritime Collaboration Forum on Shared Awareness and Deconfliction i.e. GoG-MCF/SHADE.
“The framework is a multilateral initiative involving industry stakeholders and member countries in West and Central Africa and the Gulf of Guinea on Information sharing and incident reporting, Cooperation at Sea, and Air De-confliction. The G7++ FOGG is another multinational collaboration with regional countries on Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea.
“Whilst multilateral and multinational collaboration and cooperation are desirable for maintaining safety and security of not only the Atlantic but the entire oceans and seas of the planet Earth, however, such must be done within the complex web of international relations and diplomacy so as not to undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of any country, big or small.
“Therefore, while appreciating the principle of ‘Mare Liberum’, a unilateral declaration by private entities to deploy warships to the waters contiguous to the Atlantic seas of West Africa is not amenable to good international relations. Likewise, the idea of Coordinated Maritime Presence (CMP) scheme, used by some countries to deploy frigates to the Atlantic oceans of West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea should be with the consent and agreement of the countries within the sub-continent in line with international laws and as a mark of respect for the dignity of their people and the sovereignty of their nations.
“At the continental level, Nigeria is a party to the Charter on Maritime Security and Safety and Development in Africa signed in September 2016 in Lomé, Togo (Lomé Charter).
” One of the objectives of the charter is to prevent and suppress national and transnational crime, including terrorism, piracy, armed robbery against ships, drug trafficking, smuggling of migrants, trafficking in persons, and all other kinds of trafficking through the sea and IUU fishing
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Kosoko said that the MCP, which has gotten the backing of the government, would give support and connect not less than 5000 Nigerian graduates with the right employers in the industry who can engage them in non-technical aspects of shipping.
She noted that women will be given an adequate percentage under MCP, stating that the MCP is not creating jobs but providing a fertile ground for the transfer of knowledge from old Nigerians in the industry to young ones.
Ekweremadu, wife may go to jail as London court finds them guilty of organ tafficking
A former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; his wife Beatrice; and their doctor, Obinna Obeta have been found guilty of organ trafficking in the first verdict of its kind under the Modern Slavery Act.
Ekweremadu, 60; his wife, Beatrice, 56; and Obeta, 51; were found guilty of facilitating the travel of a young man to Britain with a view to his exploitation after a six-week trial at the Old Bailey.
They allegedly criminally conspired to bring the 21-year-old Lagos street trader to London to exploit him for his kidney, the jury found, according to UK Guardian.
Ekweremadu and his wife were charged in the United Kingdom after they allegedly lured a young man from Nigeria to harvest his organ for their ailing daughter, Sonia.
The lawmaker was last year arrested and had been in the custody of UK authorities after they received complaints from the young man about their alleged plans to harvest his organ.
The prosecutor, Hugh Davies KC, told the court on Thursday the Ekweremadus and Obeta had treated the man and other potential donors as “disposable assets – spare parts for reward”.
He said they entered an “emotionally cold commercial transaction” with the man.
The behaviour of Ekweremadu, a successful lawyer and founder of an anti-poverty charity who helped draw up Nigeria’s laws against organ trafficking, showed “entitlement, dishonesty and hypocrisy”, Davies told the jury.
He said Ekweremadu, who owns several properties and had a staff of 80, “agreed to reward someone for a kidney for his daughter – somebody in circumstances of poverty and from whom he distanced himself and made no inquiries, and with whom, for his own political protection, he wanted no direct contact”.
Davies added, “What he agreed to do was not simply expedient in the clinical interests of his daughter, Sonia, it was exploitation, it was criminal.
“It is no defence to say he acted out of love for his daughter. Her clinical needs cannot come at the expense of the exploitation of somebody in poverty.”
Ekweremadu, who denied the charge, told the court he was the victim of a scam.
Beatrice denied any knowledge of the alleged conspiracy. Sonia did not give evidence.
The judge, Mr Justice Jeremy Johnson, will pass sentence at a later date.
EFCC arraigns bank manager, two others for N55m fraud in Makurdi
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC,) on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, arraigned one Kichime Gomwalk, a branch manager of First City Monument Bank, (FCMB,) Michael Damkas Buayam of Tan Global Energy Limited, and Abbas Andrew Dayilim of Castlegate International Limited before Justice P. S. Gang of the Plateau State High Court Jos, on a five-count charge bordering on stealing, cheating and obtaining by false pretense to the tune of N55,000.000.00 (Fifty Five Million Naira) fraud.
Kichime Gomwalk, while serving as branch Manager, FCMB Plc, Murtala Mohammed Way Jos, in Plateau State is alleged to have forged COCIN GRATUITY CERTIFICATE OF PLEDGE/LETTER OF SET-OFF dated 30th DECEMBER, 2019, purportedly co-signed by Mrs. Monica Bitrus Tang and Rev (Dr.) Amos Musa Mohzo, Directors, which he used to secure an overdraft facility from FCMB Plc to the tune of N55, 000.000.00 (Fifty-Five Million Naira) with COCIN Gratuity account N0. 100GOMWALK379 domiciled with FCMB Plc
Count one of the charges reads, “That you, Kichime Gomwalk, Michael Damkas Buayam of Tan Global Energy Limited, and you Abbas Andrew Dayilim of Castlegate International Limited, sometime in December 2019 at Jos, in Plateau State within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court did conspire among yourselves to commit an unlawful act to with without Lawful authority engaged in the acquisition of N55,000.000.00 (Fifty Five Million Naira) overdraft credit facility from FCMB Plc and thereby committed an offense of conspiracy contrary to section 59 (1) of the Plateau State Penal Code Law, (20017) and punishable under Section 59 (2) of the same Law”.
Count two reads, “That you, Kichime Gomwalk, Michael Damkas Buayam of Tan Global Energy Limited, and you Abbas Andrew Dayilim of Castlegate International Limited, sometime in December 2019 in Plateau State within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court fraudulently used LETTER OF CONSENT to engage in the acquisition of N55,000.000.00 (Fifty Five Million Naira) overdraft credit facility from FCMB Plc knowing that at the time of acquisition of the said money, it was derived from the unlawful activity and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 18 (a) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment Act) 2004, and Punishable under section 18 (2) of the same Act”.
The defendants pleaded ‘not guilty’ when the charge was read to them.
The judge adjourned the case till May 18, 2023, and ordered the remand of the defendants at the Jos Correctional Center pending the hearing of their bail applications.
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