Hello 

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.


-AFP

NEXT ON NEWS24 NIGERIAX

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
DSAGE
Natural transformation after deat...

Nature transforms every soul into a spirit immediately after death. It means that the soul is called spirit after the body has dropped in death.  Read more...

Submitted by
Tque Majolagbe
The Nigerian Health Sector; Just ...

It’s been over two weeks now since the Nigerian Medical Association pulled her members away from work throughout the country.  Read more...

Submitted by
DSAGE
No real actions without approval ...

I know that Bible is great in wisdom but the point remains that Jesus is fantastic to us in life. Everything about him was written formally, and nobody here had ever seen him anywhere in real world.  Read more...

Submitted by
Peregrino Brimah
From sharing rice to sharing thie...

In Nigeria crime pays: study armed robbers, politicians and terrorists. PDP and APC are fighting over who owns more armed robbers.  Read more...

Submitted by
Peregrino Brimah
When will Jonathan apologize to N...

I was reading Reuben Abati today, doing his paid job of trying to defend the president of Nigeria in the case of the three month-long abducted, ‘raped and killed’ girls.  Read more...

Submitted by
Peregrino Brimah
Jonathan’s Presidency is like a f...

Will we keep such doctor operating in the village for fear of who will operate on and medicate our patients after he is locked in jail? This is the question we must ask ourselves. Read more...