Home Travel & Tourism …As Akabogu advocates prosecuting powers for NIMASA

…As Akabogu advocates prosecuting powers for NIMASA

The Principal Partner, Akabogu and Associates, Mr. Emeka Akabogu has called on the Federal government to make a provision that would enable the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) have power of prosecution so as to effectively wage war on pirates and sea robbers operating on the nation’s waterways.
Akabogu who was reacting to the recent lamentation by the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi over the agency’s inability to prosecute suspected pirates and other criminal elements on the nation’s waterways stated that this was a big challenge which should be overcome.
He noted that because NIMASA was required to handover suspected persons to the police whose onus it was to carry on an investigation and subsequently prosecute the suspects, there was nothing more the agency could do other than to rely on the outcome of the police investigation and prosecution which in many cases had not helped matters.
According to him,” I think one of the key issues here is that NIMASA does not have power of prosecution and to the extent that NIMASA does not have power of prosecution, there is always very little it can do”.
“It has to handover persons to the security agents for investigation and prosecution. So, I think that is the truth. The thing there is the judicial system, the judicial system includes the law, the courts and the Judges. Of course, the Judges cannot do anything until investigations are concluded and suspect brought to the court room”.
When asked why suspects would be arrested today and tomorrow, such a suspect is seen on the streets walking freely, he said,” I think that question should be put more to the police because those are the persons who have the power of investigation and prosecution. So, NIMASA can only hand over suspects, it is the role of the police to investigate and once it investigate and confirm, they can now prosecute”.
“So, the big challenge to me which I feel we should overcome could be that NIMASA should be given power of prosecution, that way, NIMASA can effectively bring matters to court on this subject and it is now left for the court to decide on the matter and be able to come up with a decision”.

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