Magistrate Nureni Kuranga, President of the Marine Board of Inquiry into the accident which involved “MV CELINE” vessel has suspended it’s investigation into the matter.
Kuranga on behalf of the board on Wednesday ordered the suspension following a motion raised by Patrick Aganwu, lead Counsel to Python Engineering Company Limited, owners of MV CELINE.
The panel commenced sitting on Tuesday
Aganwu had drew the attention of the panel to the ex-parte order 26 Rule 6 (1) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019 before the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Aganwu pleaded that the investigation should be discontinued until all legal cases concerning the matter has been resolved.
The Marine vessel was alleged to have been Involved in the accident on April 19 April, 2018 at the Escravos Breakwater Channel, Warri, Delta.
“The board had to temporarily suspended the sitting following a motion ex-parte order 26 Rule 6 (1) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019 before the Federal High Court, Abuja,” Kuranga said.
Earlier, Kuranga in his inuagural speech said the board was set up by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi.
According to him, the board was mandated to investigate and establish the circumstances surrounding the marine accident, subsequent sinking of the vessel and among others.
“We have the responsibility to verify the veracity of the Preliminary Report on the matter.
“And at the end make recommendations that will move the Nigerian maritime sector forward in terms of safety and security.
“In May 2018, news filtered in that a Nigerian flagged offshore Tug/ Supply vessel, the MV CELINE was fast sinking in the Escravos after hitting a large stone around the breakwaters,” he said.
It will be recalled that MV CELINE is a passenger vessel with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Registration Number: 9782584 with a Gross Tonnage of 259.
It was built in 2017.