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Dakuku advocates timely dispensation of justice in maritime cases

DG NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety
Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has urged the Nigerian judicial system to
ensure efficiency and timeliness in the dispensation of justice in maritime
related cases, as it will boost stakeholders and investors’ confidence in the

The DG who stated this on Monday during the 8th Strategic Admiralty Law
Seminar for Judges organized by NIMASA in conjunction with the Nigerian
Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) in Lagos, with the theme:
“Strengthening Nigeria’s Admiralty Regime through Effective Implementation of
International Maritime and Labour Instruments” reiterated the fact that the
maritime sector in Nigeria has a lot of opportunities to become an economic
driver and this can be fully actualized when the various arms of government
work together collaboratively.
“Timeliness in justice dispensation is very key to realizing the
potentials in the maritime sector so that investors’ can trust our judicial
process. The more time taken on a case, the more investment opportunities are
lost; I therefore wish to use this opportunity to appeal to our judges to
facilitate timely resolution of dispute for maritime cases as we all have one
role or the other to play in catalysing the Nigerian economy,” the DG
Meanwhile, Dr. Dakuku disclosed that the Agency has already ratified 40
conventions of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and International
Labour Organisation (ILO) on maritime safety, maritime labour and marine
environment management, domesticating 19 of these conventions either by
adoption, regulations or by incorporation under the Merchant Shipping Act,
Speaking further, he said that the Agency  was working closely with the
Federal Ministry of Transportation under the auspices of an Inter-Ministerial
Committee to ratify an additional six IMO conventions before the end of 2019 to
ensure that Nigeria as an IMO member state
fulfills its treaty obligation. 

conventions are; The Hong Kong International Convention for safe and
environmentally sound recycling of ships 2009; Protocol Relating to
Intervention on the high seas in cases of oil pollution casualties
(Intervention Protocol) 1973; 1996 Protocol on limitation of liability for
maritime claims (LLMC).
Others are; 2002 Protocol relating to the carriage of passengers and
their luggage by sea (PAL) 1976; International Convention on Standards of
Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F)
1995; and the Protocol of 2005 to the Convention for the Suppression of
Unlawful Act against the Safety of Maritime Navigation.
He also gave the assurance that NIMASA as a responsible Agency was working with relevant stakeholders under the auspices of the IMO Mandatory
States Audit Scheme (IMSAS) Corrective Action Plan Committee to ensure that all
queries raised in the 2016 IMO Audit report on Nigeria’s maritime sector are
addressed before the first quarter of 2019 in order to boost Nigeria’s
reelection bid into Category ‘C’ of the IMO General Council.
In the area of maritime security, which is critical to actualizing a
safe and secure shipping, the NIMASA DG informed participants that the draft
suppression of piracy and other maritime offenses bill facilitated by the
Agency, aimed at criminalizing piracy and other maritime offenses has been
forwarded to the National Assembly, adding that the bill has passed first
reading in both chambers of the National Assembly. He also expressed optimism
that it will be passed to Law before the end of the 8th Assembly. 
 “NIMASA remains committed to playing its part in ensuring the
implementation of relevant maritime treaties to ensure the growth of the
maritime sector and admiralty regime,” Dr. Dakuku stated.
On his part, the Director General of NIALS, Professor Adedeji Adekunle
who was represented by the Director of Studies, Associate Professor Emmanuel
Okon of NIALS, corroborated the stance of the DG, NIMASA on the need to
expedite judgement on maritime related cases. 
“The crux of the matter lies on
enforcements and the stakeholders who happens to be the judiciary”, he
said, and gave the assurance that NIALS wouid continue to partner
NIMASA in order to realize a timely judicial dispensation in the maritime
NIMASA in line with its mandate of promoting the development of shipping
and building capacity in the maritime sector, instituted the Strategic
Admiralty Law Seminar for Judges with the initial target being judges of the
Federal High Court who by provision of Section 251 (I) (g) of the constitution
of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), are vested with exclusive
jurisdiction over Admiralty matters. 

This scope subsequently expanded to
include Justices of the Court of Appeal and the State High Court Judges of the
littoral states, mindful also of their strategic roles in the dispensation of
Present at the event include; Justice of the Court of Appeal, M.L. Garba
Chief Judge of Ogun State, Mosunmola Arinola, Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom, Justice
Godwin Abraham, amongst other notable legal luminaries.

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