Pirates in court Court denies ‘sick’ pirate bail

An Accra Circuit Court has denied to bail one of the accused pirates on the grounds of ill health.

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The Accra Circuit Court handling the case of the ten accused pirates Wednesday morning declined a bail application for one of them, David Jacobs on the grounds of ill health.

The accused persons were busted for their role in the hijacking of a Nigerian-flagged commercial oil tanker in Ghanaian waters in January, 2015.

According to the court, counsel for the suspect, Uche Nwosu failed to provide an evidence of ill health that was life threatening to the suspect. Based on that the court said it cannot grant the bail application.

Piracy is a non-bailable offence in Ghana.

Graphiconline’s correspondent in court, Seth J. Bokpe reported that the defence counsel told the court that his client has been receiving treatment at the health facility within the premises of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) where the suspects were on remand.

Counsel said Jacobs’ situation was not improving in anyway and that he had lost weight not because he was not being fed well, but because of excruciating pain in the back.

The prosecution however told the court they would ensure that Jacobs was sent to the Police Hospital in Accra for treatment.

Meanwhile, the prosecution said they were still waiting for the AG’s advice on the case.

The court adjourned the case to April 28, 2015.

The 10 accused persons made up of eight Nigerians and two Ghanaians are in the custody at the BNI. 

The Nigerians are Molih Williams, Molih Klinsman, Peggy Aki, Ebiyaibo Amos, David Jacobs, Apetimiyi Onyinie, Piano Saniyo and Picolo John.

The two Ghanaians are George Opata Okrah, a freight forwarder and Joel Yaw Attah, a shipping agent.

The two Ghanaians were implicated in the case after police investigations revealed that they connived with the eight Nigerians to hijack the oil tanker with the intent to share the booty.

The police have mounted a search for three other Nigerian accomplices who are currently at large.

The three, who were said to be involved in the hijacking, have been identified as Marcus Olaide Oladapo, Captain Mike and Abaiyi, all sailors.

According to the prosecution, the complainant in the case is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Maxweir Limited, which operates the oil tanker, MT Mariam, while the eight pirates are all unemployed from Nigeria.

On January 17, 2015, the MT Mariam set sail from Lagos in Nigeria to Lome in Togo.

The accused persons attacked the crew of MT Mariam and offloaded the cargo onto another vessel marked MT Invictus.

The complainant, with a marine vessel tracking device, located the hijacked vessel heading towards Ghana’s territorial waters.

The leader of the pirates, Captain Mike, managed to get the complainant on phone and threatened that he would use the vessel for another operation in Liberia.

“However, the Ghana Navy patrol team, on receipt of a distress call, proceeded to rescue the victims and arrested the pirates,” the prosecution said.

According to the prosecution, Okrah, who was a freight forwarder, and a good friend of Captain Mike met in the early part of January this year to discuss the hijacking of a loaded vessel with oil from Nigeria.

“During their meeting, they discussed the need for a vessel to take delivery of the oil and his benefit after the oil is sold. The two also agreed to give Attah US$75,000 for the use of the MT Invictus after the sale of the oil,” he said.

Source: Graphiconline

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