By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Merchant Seafarers Association of Nigeria, a body registered under the laws of Nigeria to advance and protect the rights of seafarers has petitioned the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) over the unpaid salaries of three of its members working onboard an indigenous ship; MT ADEBOMI1
The affected crew; Capt. Ogunshakin Williams (Master), Engr. Joseph Dibia (Chief Engineer) and Kolawole Bolakale lssa (Chief Cook), along with other crew members, were allegedly owed five months salaries from December 2018 till May 2019.
According to a copy of the petition dated 27th May 2020,obtained exclusively by DAILY TREND NEWS, signed by the Secretary General of the group, Capt Alfred Oniye and it’s legal adviser Jonathan Nwagu, the group alleged that the crew were employed by CAMSHIP Limited of 2nd Floor, Ovamann House at No1, Shalom Road, Off Ago Palace Road. Amuwo Odofin, Lagos, the crewing agency for Stallionaire Oil and Gas Limited of 12A Yeye Olofin Street. Lekki Phase 1, Lekki, Lagos, owners of MT ADEBOMI1
The captain and crew of the vessel reportedly manned the vessel and professionally discharged their duties as assigned and directed by Stallionaire Oil and Gas Limited.
But sometimes in December 2018, Stallionaire Oil and Gas Limited allegedly stopped payment of the crew salaries because of its burnt storage facility which the group claimed, has nothing to do with operating MT ADEBOMI.
“The crew stayed onboard the vessel, working seriously to put the vessel in class because the vessel was not in class at the time, while receiving and carrying out instruction as directed by Stallionaire Oil and Gas Limited and CAMPSHIP Limited respectively”
“To our surprise, we discovered that StaIIionaire Oil and Gas Limited was paid by the insurance company for the loss they incurred on the burnt storage facility”
“We also discovered that CAMSHIP Limited had been short paying the crew of ADEBOMI 1, which is against Maritime Labour Convention and the Merchant Shipping Act. 2007. The Crew taxes were deducted but not remitted”
“In order for Stallionaire Oil and Gas Ltd not to pay the crew their outstanding salaries, they sent some persons on board MT ADEBOMI1 on Saturday, May 11 2019 with instructions to take over control of the vessel from Capt Ogunshakin WIlliams. The captain handed over the vessel and cheques were issued to the Captain and crew which turned out to be dudes”
“Subsequently, Stallionaire Oil and Gas Ltd and Camship Ltd made promises to pay the captain and crew all their outstanding salaries till their last date of disembarkation”
“However, up till date, Captain Ogunshakin Williams and all the former crew of MT ADEBOMI1 are yet to receive their outstanding salaries and entitlements, In contrast to the promises of Stallionaire Oil and Gas Limited and CAMSHIP LimIted to settle their salaries and in direct contravention of Section 128(1)(a) and (2) of the Merchant Shipping Act, 2007”
“It was also recorded that the same crew of MT ADEBOMI1 was attacked by sea pirates during their trip from Port Harcourt. Captain Ogunshakin Williams even had an accident during the operation” the petition reads
The Merchant Seafarers Association charged NIMASA to ensure that the matter is resolyed expeditiously, and ensure that the former crew of MT ADEMOBI 1 are paid their outstanding salaries and entitlements.
“We do not wish for any stand-off between the crew and managements of Stallionaire Oil and gas Limited/CAMSHIP Limited, hence our escalation of this matter to your good office” it stated.