The Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday refused to grant bail to 10 alleged pirates who are being tried by the Attorney General of the Federation.
Justice Ayokunle Faji said he couldn’t grant them bail in view of the graveness of the charges against them, bordering on the threat to national security.
The judge said the offences, which the defendants were accused of committing, carry life sentence of a fine not less than N50m.
The defendants are Frank Abaka, Jude Ebaragha, Shina Alolo, Joshua Iwiki, David Akinseye, Ahmed Toyin, Shobajo Saheed, Adekole Philip, Matthew Masi and Bright Agbedeyi.
They were arraigned on three counts on July 13.
They were accused of the hijacking of a fishing vessel, named FV Hai Lu Feng II, belonging to Haina Fishing Company.
The prosecuting counsel for the Federal Government, Laraban Magaji, said the defendants committed the offence in May this year on the international water at Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, thereby violating Section 3 of Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act 2019 and were liable to punishment under Section 2 of the same Act.
But they pleaded not guilty.
Meanwhile, at the Tuesday proceedings, the defendants disowned their confessional statements.
Justice Faji adjourned till August 4 for the continuation of trial-within-trial during a video of the statement taking process will be watched.