27th March, 2012
The Nigerian Merchant Navy Corps has appealed a judgment by an Ikeja High Court, Lagos which on 2 February 2 held that the organisation was an illegal entity.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo in the judgment had held that the Merchant Navy was not recognised by any law, adding that its activities constitute a threat to national security.
The suit was filed by 96 members of the corps led by Commodore Allen Edema, against the Inspector-General of Police and Mrs Yemisi Kefas of the Office to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).
The judge thus dismissed the suit which sought to challenge their alleged eviction from their office at No. 6 Force Road, Onikan, Lagos by the police and Kefas.
However, their counsel, Mr Spencer Ohwofa said the organisation has filed an appeal against the judgment at the Court of Appeal, Lagos.
Ohwofa said he was relying on three grounds of appeal against Taiwo’s judgment.
He said: “The learned trial judge erred in law when she relied on paragraphs 5 to 45 of the 2nd and 4th Respondents counter affidavit dated September 14, 2011 which offends Section 115 (2) (3) (4) of the Evidence Act 2011”.
According to him, she also misdirected herself when she held that the true identity of the applicants in the suit has not been established and consequently dismissed the application.
Ohwofa said the judgment was against the weight of evidence, and therefore asked the appeal court to set it aside and grant the appellants’ application.