Owners Of Burnt Vessel Sue Nigerian Navy

The company Soljass Maritime Limited has taken legal action against the Nigerian Navy, the Chief of Naval Staff, and others, accusing them of recklessness and bad faith in the destruction of their vessel, MV Cecilia, which was carrying Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) on August 22 as part of Operation Delta Safe.

This legal action, filed in the Federal High Court Port Harcourt under suit number FHC/PH/CS/157/2023, names several defendants, including the Chief of Defence Staff, Ministry of Defence, and the Attorney General/Minister of Justice of the Federation.

Additionally, Operation Delta Safe’s Commander Rear Admiral Olusegun Ferreira, NNS Pathfinder’s Commander Commodore Desmond Igbo, and OPDS’s Maritime Component Commander Commodore Adedokun Siyanbade are implicated.

The plaintiffs’ legal team, led by Senior Advocate of Nigeria Ifedayo Adedipe, criticized the defendants for not providing their notice of preliminary objection, despite filing it in December.

The Chief of Naval Staff’s counsel, David Okechukwu, requested a hearing on January 29, 2024, but this was strongly opposed by Adedipe, who warned against delaying the case. After considering both parties, the presiding Judge, Justice Sada’atu Mark, adjourned the case for a hearing on November 29 and directed all parties to file their motions before that date.


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