Bt Chiazo Ogbolu
The Nigerian Maritime Law Association (NMLA) has unveiled plans to strengthen the capacity of federal high courts to tackle sea-related crimes.
Ms. Funke Agbor, SAN, President of the NMLA, made this known at the Bloomfield Law Practice event in honor of past and current presidents of the association.
Agbor said the association will help the government use the law, courts and dispute resolution rules to counter and combat the maritime crimes facing the country.
“Right now we are trying to improve the capacity of the federal high courts to deal with some of these issues.
“We have done everything possible to see that we are working in partnership with the educational aspect of the judiciary, the National Institute for the Judiciary, to see if we can bring our expertise as lawyers, our specialized knowledge of the law. maritime to support the government, ”she said.
She said the most important thing was for judges to understand the principles in order to make an informed decision in sea-related crimes.
“As maritime lawyers, we know that maritime practice, the international trade from which we derive maritime law, is the cornerstone of any economy.
“We are fortunate to have a fantastic coastline in the country, so we have the added benefit of being a coastal country and we have huge responsibilities as well as advantages.
“Our objectives as an association are to promote maritime law, knowledge, development and also to organize seminars as part of the process of disseminating information on maritime law and practice,” he said. she declared.
Agbor noted that the country’s experience on the sea, piracy, armed robbery affects the coastal area, adding that all of these things come from the land.
She said that if the country does not solve the problems on the land, they cannot solve them on the sea.
Agbor said the goals of the recently launched Nigerian Maritime and Security Administration’s Deep Blue Project should be well exploited.
Also speaking, the outgoing president of NMLA, Mr. Chidi Ilogu, stressed that mobilizing members was the biggest challenge of his tenure.
According to him, at the time, there was this motion that maritime practice is a sect but he wants to change this notion to say that it is not a sect.
He noted that being a member of the association was difficult at the time as membership was very technical and required specialized training, adding that many people did not have this opportunity to go for the training. .
“In the early 90s, it was necessary to involve more people because the business was booming.
“It was difficult back then, but a few Nigerian universities are now offering opportunities for younger people to study in the country, unlike in the past where we had to save money to be able to study abroad.
“We need to encourage younger people to get involved in the practice because I believe that working together will make things better.
“We are a good team and I think Agbor will take off from where we left off,” said Ilogu.
He stressed that it was not necessarily about competing with NIMASA or the Nigerian Shippers’ Council but adding value to what they do or even going further.
“We are not doing this to win cases but to make judges understand the basics of what they are going to do in their day to day business,” he said. (NAA)