Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Russian sailors freed on bail

25 February 2013, 16:19

Lagos - A Nigerian court granted bail Monday to 15 Russian seamen detained since October over alleged illegal possession of arms and set the trial for April 10.

Lagos High Court judge Okechukwu Okeke said the crew of the MV Myre Seadiver should be released following a written commitment by the Russian ambassador in Nigeria to produce the suspects on demand.

The court also ordered that the vessel be released after the payment of a bond in the sum of $500,000.

Defence lawyer Chidi Okafor said his clients were innocent and the ship was contracted to provide security to vessels off the region, which sees repeated pirate attacks.

He said permission was also sought and secured before the vessel entered Nigeria’s territorial waters.

“Contrary to misinformation, the Russians did not enter Nigeria illegally and did not import any arms,” Okafor told AFP.

“The ship in question is a security vessel providing security to merchant vessels in the high seas because of the rising cases of piracy and kidnapping.”

The MV Myre Seadiver was seized on October 19 off the coast of Lagos by a naval patrol which also detained its 15 crew members.

Weapons found on the vessel included 14 AK-47 rifles with 3,643 rounds of ammunition as well as 22 Benelli MR1 rifles with 4,955 rounds of ammunition.

The intended destination or planned use of the arms was not clear.

In December, Russia’s foreign ministry said it had reached a deal to secure the release of the sailors, explaining that Nigeria had agreed to drop the case to preserve cordial relations between the two nations.

That pact, if it ever existed, appears to have been sidelined.

The vessel reportedly belonged to the Moscow-based Moran Group and was flying a Dutch island flag at the time of its seizure.

Piracy and kidnapping are common off Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer and most populous nation.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...