By Chiazo Ogbolu
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) says Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offenses Act (SPOMO) improves Nigeria‘s image in its fight against piracy and sea theft .
He made this known during the first edition of the Nigerian Admiralty Law Colloquium recently organized in Lagos by the agency, in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute (NJI).
The theme of the conference was “Achieving the development of safety, security and maritime transport (TRIPODS) through law enforcement and the implementation of the Deep Blue project: the role of the judiciary and state actors “.
Jamoh said the Admiralty Law Conference, in its 10th edition in 2021, has made significant milestones in continued efforts to improve the administration of maritime law in Nigeria.
“The Admiralty Law Conference established by NIMASA has taken important steps in pursuit of its goal of continuously improving the administration of maritime law in Nigeria.
“I am pleased to announce that the main recommendations contained in last year’s conference press release will be sent to the National Assembly for the necessary legislative actions expected to improve the SPOMO law.
“We have made good progress in implementing the SPOMO law. We have secured convictions in the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt and Lagos and more judgments are expected next month.
“These prosecutions and convictions have greatly contributed to improving Nigeria’s image in the international community by producing a better appreciation of the country’s role and its determination to end piracy.
“And other maritime crimes in its territorial waters and in the Gulf of Guinea,” he said.
DG NIMASA also said there would be an adjustment to the name of the sessions on maritime law, adding that this was motivated by the need to involve a wider range of stakeholders, including Supreme Court justices.
“From next year, Supreme Court justices and more lawyers will be included in the continued attempt to refine the processes and procedures for the administration of justice in maritime matters,” Jamoh said.
The President of the Court of Appeal, Judge Monica Dongban-Mensem, hailed NIMASA as a key body for economic development.
She added that the admiralty law conferences introduced by the agency were helping to streamline anti-piracy law enforcement.
“NIMASA is a vital organ in the economic development of Nigeria and the maritime sector is indispensable; Being global in nature, an informed knowledge of the law in the global environment is necessary to move the sector forward.
“What affects this sector must be treated with the utmost care,” said Dongban-Mensem.
The Admiralty Law Sessions had for the first time this year the President of the Court of Appeal in attendance, the administrator of the National Institute of the Judiciary, Judge Rosaline Bozimo, who was represented by a director of the institute.
The others are: Olumo Abdulazeez; DG, Nigerian Institute for Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Prof Muhammed Tawfiq Ladan and Chief Justice of the Federal High Court, represented by Judge Ayokunle Faji.
NAN reports that the Admiralty Law Seminar was instituted by NIMASA in 2009 for judges with the aim of promoting by the agency the development of maritime transport and capacity building in the maritime sector.
The original focus was the judges of the Federal High Court, who have exclusive admiralty jurisdiction under Article 25 (l) (g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended ).
The scope was then broadened to include judges of the State High Court of the Coastal States. It was further expanded to include judges of the Court of Appeal, due to their strategic role in the administration of justice. (NOPE)
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