Flagrant Disobedient of Court Orders By the Chief of Defence Staff And the Chief of Defence Intelligent Agency

On the 8/01/2024 the vessel MT KALI and 13 crew members (while on sea trial from Lagos to Port Harcourt) after a major repairs on the vessel, were arrested by the men of the Tantita Security Services (TSS) on suspicion of their involvement in Dealing on Petroleum Product without License.

The vessel and her crew members were later transferred to Defence Intelligent Agency (DIA) on the instructions of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) for further investigation.

The Law Firm of Obinna M Ofodile & Co. were briefed by the owners of the vessel to undertake legal services on behalf of the vessel owning company.

After the transfer of the crew members to the DIA all efforts of their family members and lawyers from the law firm to visit their love ones and clients was vehemently rejected by the DIA, as they were confined and kept incommunicado.

On the 22/01/2024 the law firm of Obinna M Ofodile & Co. secured a court order of the Federal High Court, sitting in Warri, Delta State, via a Suit No. FHC/WR/CS/5/2024 directing the DIA to allow “…Mr. David Adeboye (the captain of the vessel) and the 12 crew member unhindered access to their lawyer in preparation for their defense.”

Several letters attaching the court order was sent to the Chief of DIA to allow the crew members access to their family members and their lawyer. However, the Chief of DIA has refused to obey the court order.

The Nigerian Police saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and properties of all Nigerians and the internal security of the nation via the provision of section 4 (d) of the Nigerian Police Act, 2020, was mandated to carry out an in-depth investigation into the matter, after which the police has filed a charge in the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja in Charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/18/2024, the charge had come up in the court on 12/02/2024 and 26/02/2024 and the Police were unable to produce the defendants for their plea, citing the refusal of the DIA to transfer the defendants to the police for arraignment, despite letters written to the CDS by the Inspector General of Police.

The court frowned at the inability of the Police to produce the defendants for arraignment; the matter was further adjourned to the 18th day of March, 2024 for arraignment.

The public should please ask the Chief of Defence Staff, why the daley in releasing our clients for trial?

On July, 2023,(as reported by the PUNCH news-paper) the Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Christopher Musa, lamented the delay in the trial of suspects handed over to civil authorities for prosecution, the same CDS is slowing down the wheel of justice by not allowing the arraignment of the crew members on board the vessel MT KALI, what has gone wrong?

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