The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has raised an alarm over the continued detention of seventeen seafarers by National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) over drugs discovered on two vessels that berthed at Greenview Development Nigeria Limited (GDNL) a terminal inside Apapa port, Lagos.
in a press release issued on Monday and signed by by President General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, the union demanded the immediate release of the ship crew and dockworkers.
According to him, the union was informed of the arrest and continued detention of 13 Dockworkers and crew by the NDLEA since the 13th of October, 2021.
The workers were reportedly arrested whilst on duty on board MV Cha Yaree Naree which berthed at the Green View Development Nigeria Umited Terminal on which Narcotics was said to be found.
Adeyanju however said there was no information that the drugs were found on the workers.
“Surprisingly, the poor workers who were neither the Ship Agent nor the consignee of the vessel were arrested and kept incarcerated by the NDLEA since October 13th 2021 till date, without being released or charged to Court as would have been done In line With the tenet of the Rule of Law.
“Similarly, the Union is also informed that on Sunday 7th of November, 2021 another four (4) Dockworkers who were on duty on board MV Kartena were arrested by the NDLEA operatives for a bag said to have been found m the Vessel, the content of which was not disclosed.
“Again, this bag that is found with undisclosed content was not found on any of the Innocent workers arrested and kept In detention for days without being released and charged to court. Their cell phones were also sand to have been arrested by the NDLEA Operatives.
“Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria is worried as its members seem to be targeted for arrest, whnst the shlp Agent and the Consignee who are in possessmn of the Ship manifest are not even Interrogated let alone arrested.
“Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria is not in anyway in support of either the importation or peddling of hard drugs into the Country but frown at the contmued harassment, intimidation, arrest and detention of our members who have been kept incommunicado for over two weeks without being released or charged to court.
“This is not in tandem with global best practices. The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria is hereby calling on NDLEA to release its members in its detention or charge them to court accordingly ” Adeyanju stated