Arrest of Ship and Process: Nigeria in Perspective

Osaloni, Oluwatosin Sunday orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8700-296X (2019) Arrest of Ship and Process: Nigeria in Perspective. Arrest of Ship and Process: Nigeria in Perspective . ISSN N/A (Unpublished)

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In the Nigerian admiralty jurisdictions, when a shipowner or the ship-agent commits an offence that falls within a maritime claim, admiralty marshal or his delegated substitute deals with the offender to arrest the ship so that it does not take another route. Ship arrest requires that the applicant or the claimant should possess a maritime claim. The admiralty jurisdiction act defines the maritime claim. the admiralty jurisdiction empowers the relevant authority to arrest the offending ship for breaching maritime laws. Subsequently, the ship cannot continue to move or trade once there are pending maritime claims imposed on it in the court of law.

Similarly, the admiralty jurisdiction act (2004) have provisions for the arrest of sister ships. In such a way, not only will the offending ship be arrested but also other vessels that are owned by the owner of the offending ship can be arrested. To circumvent some of these liabilities, many shipping companies have registered each of their vessels under a separate/ distinct corporate organisation with a unique owner.

Ship arrest by an action in rem is a significant aspect of international maritime jurisdiction. Often maritime claims are not properly articulated, and this creates some challenges to Claimants in invoking the admiralty jurisdiction of Admiralty Court s and proving their claims. To end this, there is a need for a robust and effective admiralty for the enforcement of maritime claims by an in-rem action. Admiralty in rem procedure could be cumbersome if wrongly approached. This underscores the need for any party seeking in rem arrest of a ship to adequately satisfy Court’s procedures on enforcement of maritime claims vide in rem actions under the Admiralty Jurisdiction Procedure Rules and the Admiralty Jurisdiction Act.

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