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PERPETRATION OF OFFENCES BY OCEAN-GOING VESSELS IN NIGERIA’S TERRITORIAL WATERS

Richard Ingwe, John Adams, S. P. I. Agi, Judith E. Otu and J. K. Ukwayi

The IUP Journal of Governance and Public Policy, 2009, vol. IV, issue 1, 35-48

Abstract: Growing offences within and beyond national territories challenge modern societies and justify the creation of the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime. Similarly challenged are specialised institutions mandated to monitor, apprehend, prosecute offenders and administer justice related to these offences within the national systems. Offences committed using ocean-going vessels and barges within Nigeria’s territorial waters (2002-08) are analysed in this article. The findings reveal that the national territorial waters in Southeastern part of the country under the operation of NNS Pathfinder (Port Harcourt) are frequented by a large number of vessels perpetrating illegal bunkering. Similarly, several vessels suspected to be involved in illegal bunkering were most common in Southwestern (Warri or NNS Delta) province. While owners of the vessels suspected of illegal bunkering in the NNS Delta area instituted legal proceedings aimed at recovering their properties, most of those vessels perpetrating such illegal activities in the Southeastern (Port Harcourt) area failed to undertake legal proceedings. Policy implications of this study are that monitoring of offences perpetrated by ocean-going vessels should be intensified around southeastern Nigeria, which call for the strengthening of the country’s law enforcing institutions.

Date: 2009
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