Judiciary

Accident: Panel suspends investigation on MV CELINE Vessel

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Magistrate Nureni Kuranga, President, Marine Board of Inquiry into the accident which involved MV CELINE Vessel on Wednesday suspended investigation into the incident.

Kuranga ordered suspension of the investigation following a motion raised by Patrick Aganwu, a Lead Counsel to Python Engineering Company Ltd., owner of MV CELINE.

Aganwu, at the sitting, drew the attention of the panel to an Ex-parte Order 26 Rule 6 (1) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019 before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

He pleaded that the investigation should be discontinued until all legal cases concerning the matter had been resolved.

Ruling, Kuranga said, “This board has to temporarily suspended sitting following a motion Ex-parte Order 26 Rule 6 (1) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019 before the Federal High Court in Abuja.”

Earlier, Kuranga, in his inaugural speech, said that the board was set up by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi.

According to him, the board was mandated to investigate and establish the circumstances surrounding the marine accident, subsequent sinking of the vessel, among others.

“We have the responsibility to verify the veracity of the Preliminary Report on the matter, and at the end, make recommendations that will move the Nigerian Maritime sector forward in terms of safety and security.

“In May 2018, news filtered in that a Nigerian flagged offshore Tug/Supply Vessel, the MV CELINE was fast sinking in the Escravos after hitting a large stone around the breakwaters,” Kuranga said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that MV CELINE is a passenger vessel with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Registration Number: 9782584 with a Gross Tonnage of 259.

The marine vessel, built in 2017, was allegedly involved in an accident in 2018 at the Escravos Breakwater Channel, Warri in Delta.



Edited by Olagoke Olatoye

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