Chinese ship hijack: 10 ‘pirates’ know bail fate July 28

Chinese ship hijack: 10 ‘pirates’ know bail fate July 28

A Lagos Federal High Court, today, adjourned till July 28 to rule on the bail applications filed by 10 persons suspected of hijacking a Chinese fishing vessel, FV Hai Lu Feng II, last May. 

Justice Ayokunle Faji fixed the date after taking arguments from their counsel and responses from the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).

The defendants are: Frank Abaka, Jude Ebaragha, Shina Alolo, Joshua Iwiki, David Akinseye, Ahmed Toyin, Shobajo Saheed, Adekole Philip, Matthew Masi and Bright Agbedeyi.

They are standing trial on three counts of hijacking the vessel in international waters off Cote D’Ivoire. 

The government told the court that the defendants “while armed with weapons, committed an illegal act of violence against the crew on board FV Hai Lu Feng II belonging to Haina Fishing Company by putting them in fear in order to take control of the vessel”.

They were arrested in May this year by the men of the Nigerian Navy, which handed them over to the government. 

The defendants, who all pleaded not guilty during their arraignment, were remanded in the Navy’s custody. 

In moving their bail applications, the defendants’ lawyers, Omoniyi Aruwayo; Joe Nwoke and Monday Mawah, prayed the court to grant the defendants bail pursuant to Sections 164 and 165 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 and Sections 35(4) and 36 of of the Constitution of Nigeria, 1999.

But Mrs. Kehinde Bode Ayeni, who represented the AGF, opposed him. She prayed the judge to refuse the applications and order for accelerated hearing of the matter.

Justice Faji after listened to both parties adjourned till July 28, for ruling