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Court Sentences 10 Pirates To Prison For Hijacking Chinese Vessel

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The Federal High Court in Lagos has sentenced 10 pirates to 12 years imprisonment each with a N250,000 fine on each count.

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They were involved in the hijack of a Chinese merchant vessel FV HAILUFENG II.

The Nigerian Navy (NN) rescued 18 crew members of the vessel on 15 May 2020.

The defendants included Frank Abaka, Jude Ebaragha, Shina Alolo, Joshua Iwiki, David Akinseye.

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Others are Ahmed Toyin, Shobajo Saheed, Adekole Philip, Matthew Masi, and Bright Agbedeyi.

They were charged on 3 counts of offences contravening Section 3, 10 and 12 of the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act 2019.

Justice Ayokunle Faji stressed that piracy has been an embarrassment to the nation and has impacted the economy negatively.

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The judge stated that punishment for such crime must be proportionate to the offence committed by the convicts to serve as deterrence to others.

The lead prosecution counsel, Labaran Magaji, averred that the verdict would send strong warning to criminal elements.

The defence counsel announced that the judgment would be appealed.

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