The Executive Director, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, (UNODC), Ghada Waly has commended Nigeria’s effort on ensuring that crimes in the maritime sector are curbed particularly their feat as to ensure the first-ever successful prosecution and conviction of pirates in Africa.
Waly said that Nigeria has exhibited her leadership role and commitment towards curbing maritime crimes in order to ensure that the security measures on the high sea are more guaranteed with the convictions of offenders.
As disclosed through a statement issued by the Head of Strategic Communication, Office of the National Security Adviser, Zakari Usman, Yesterday, stated that the UNODC boss gave the commendation in New York, United States of America, adding that she noted their immense contributions.
Waly attributed the success to effective collaboration between Nigeria and UNODC through the Global Maritime Crime Programme and the Strategic Vision for Africa launched in 2021.
She further stressed that one of the gaps identified by the Federal Government of Nigeria in the fight against maritime crimes was the weak legal and institutional framework for prosecuting offenders which they have stiffened to deter other prospect offenders.
As gathered, President Muhammadu Buhari, on June 24, 2019, assented to the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences (POMO) Bill. By the POMO Act, Nigeria became the first country in the West and Central African sub-regions to promulgate a stand-alone law against piracy. The Act also domesticates, as required, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), 1982 and the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA), 1988. In July 2021, under the POMO Act, the Federal Government secured the successful prosecution of 10 pirates for the first time anywhere in Africa.