Trial of 10 arraigned suspected pirates over fishing vessel hijack begins July 25

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos under Justice Ayokunle Faji, would begin hearing of bail applications and commence trail on July 25, in the case of 10  suspected pirates who were arrested in May over hijacking a fishing vessel named FV Hai Lu Feng ll, belonging to Haina Fishing Company.

The Federal Government had on Monday July 13, arraigned the 10 suspected pirates before Justice Ayokunle Faji of the Federal High Court, Lagos.

Facing a three-count charge the defendants, who are resident in Nigeria,include Frank Abaka, Jude Egbaragha, Shina Alolo, Joshua Iwiki, David Akinseye, Ahmed Toyin, Shobajo Saheed, Adekole hilip, Matthew MAsi, and Bright Agbedeyi.

The office of the Attorney-General of the Federal, which is prosecuting them, told the court that the defendants “while armed with weapons, committes an illegal act of violence against the crew on board FV Hai Lu Feng ll, a fishing vessel belonging to Haina Fishery Company, by putting them in fear in order to take control of the vessel.”

Prosecuting counsel of the Federal Government, Laraban Magaji, said that the defendants committed the offense in May, on international waters at Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire.

Magaji said that the offense committed violates Section 3 of the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act 2019 and were liable to punishment under Section 2 of the same Act.

However, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them by the Federal Government.

Adjourning the case till July 25 for hearing of the defendant’s bail applications and commencement of trail, Justice Faji ordered that they be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Navy, which brought them to court.

While adjourning the case till July 15, 2020, for the hearing of the defendants’ bail applications and commencement of trial, Justice Faji ordered that they should be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Navy, which brought them to court amidst heavy security.

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