The owners of the vessel, MV Cecilia; Soljass Maritime Limited have dragged the Nigerian Navy, Chief of Naval Staff, and the Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder to court for what they referred to as recklessness and bad faith shown by the maritime force.
On August 22, members of Operation Delta Safe destroyed the vessel MV Cecilia conveying the Automotive Gas oil (AGO), also known as diesel.
Soljass Limited, owners of the vessel MV Cecilia destroyed by the Nigerian Navy instituted legal action against the Nigerian Navy and the Chief of Naval Staff among others.
In a suit marked FHC/PH/CS/157/2023 filed at the Federal High Court Port Harcourt, the plaintiffs are suing the Nigerian Navy, Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Defence Staff, Ministry of Defence, and Attorney General/Minister of Justice of the Federation.
Also petitioned are the Commander of Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral Olusegun Ferreira, Commander NNS Pathfinder Commodore Desmond Igbo, and the Maritime Component Commander of OPDS Commodore Adedokun Siyanbade.
Leading the plaintiff’s legal team, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ifedayo Adedipe berated the defendants for not serving his team with their notice of preliminary objection despite having filed it since December. Counsel to the Chief of Naval Staff, David Okechukwu, requested that the matter be adjourned to the 29th of January, 2024 for a hearing but this was vehemently opposed by Adedipe who warned his opponents against stalling the case and wasting the time of the court.
After listening to both parties, presiding Judge, Justice Sada’atu Mark adjourned the case to the 29th of November for a hearing. She, however, directed that all parties file all their motions before the adjourned date.