Port Harcourt — The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, convicted three persons for aiding and abetting kidnapping, sea piracy and concealing terrorism.
The judge, Justice I. M. Sani, also fined the three persons the sum of N10 million each for each count after they pleaded guilty to the amended charges of sea piracy and concealment of information to the security agencies.
The court also discharged six other accused persons for lack of evidence.
Recall that these three persons were among nine people earlier charged with terrorism and kidnapping, following their involvement in facilitating the payment of $200,000 as ransom for the kidnapped crew members of an Equatorial Guinean flagged vessel, MV Elobey VI.
The suspected were arrested in May 2020, by operatives of the Nigerian Navy Ship, NNS Pathfinder, for facilitating the ransom of $200,000 to sea pirates, who had attacked an Equatorial Guinea flagged vessel, MV Elobey VI, off the coast of Equatorial Guinea and held the crew hostage.
Speaking to newsmen outside the court, the Lead Prosecutor from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, Labaran Magaji, said the judgment was a landmark victory for the Anti-piracy Act of 2019.
While Counsel to the three convicted persons, Abimbola Akeredolu SAN, assured that the judgment will be appealed.