ADMIRALTY JURISDICTION PROCEDURE RULES (AJPR) Overview. In a significant ruling by Justice I. L. Ojukwu, of the Uyo Judicial Division of the. The new Admiralty Jurisdiction Procedure Rules recently came into force, repealing the previous rules of The main objectives of the new. 2) Act, National Institute for Legislative Studies Act, Constitution of the (1) The admiralty jurisdiction of the Federal High Court (in this Act referred to as .. in respect of a ship and has commenced proceedings against a sister ship.
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Admiralty Jurisdiction Procedure Rules Admiralty Jurisdiction Procedure Rules Click below to download file. Download File Now. Procedure Rules (AJPR) for the Federal High Court of Nigeria 21 of the Admiralty Jurisdiction Act (AJA) which empower the. Service on ships or other property on a ship. 2. Service on property not on ship. 3. Service where access impossible. 4. Nigerian Ports PLC to.
Supporting affidavit stating the nature of the claim, that the ship is within the jurisdiction of the court or is expected to arrive jurisdiction within three days, and that the ship may leave the jurisdiction of the court at anytime.
The claimant is also required to provide an Affidavit of Urgency; 6. Indemnity in favour of the Admiralty Marshall for his expenses in effecting the arrest order, 7. An undertaking as to damages in favour of the Defendants. A warrant of arrest is now valid for six months and renewable for a further six months previously the warrant was valid for six months only It is interesting to note that there are some ship owners who procure a Caveat for their ships.
The Caveat protects such vessel against arrest. The question is how would an individual who has a claim against a ship owner that has procured a caveat for his ship go about arresting such vessel. The Admiralty Jurisdiction Procedure Rules provides that the claimant shall conduct a search of the caveat book so as to ascertain whether there is a Caveat against arrest in force in respect to the vessel. A caveat could also be filed against the release of a vessel under arrest, with undertaking in damages, in lieu of obtaining a further arrest of the vessel.
A caveat expires after twelve 12 months of filing.
It is noteworthy to mention that an application for the arrest of a vessel by a warrant of arrest is deemed to be an undertaking to pay the expenses in relation to the arrest. The Admiralty Marshall may accept an amount of money not less than N, When a vessel has been arrested, the Admiralty Marshall takes custody of the vessel and has the duty to take all appropriate procedure to retain custody and preserve the vessel.
Bail can be defined as the process to obtain the release of oneself or another by providing security for a future appearance in court For the purpose of this paper we can say bail is the security given to the admiralty Court16 by the vessel owner or agent as a pledge or substitution of personal property for the property or res proceeded against pending the adjudication of the cause involving the vessel.
It is essential to mention at this point that where there is no provision for bail or for the release of an arrested ship for a period of six months from the date of arrest, the Court may on proper application order that the ship be sold by the Admiralty Marshall and its proceeds paid into interest yielding account pending further orders The main reason for arresting a ship is to secure the claim pending judgment so that should the claim succeed the judgment creditor will have ready satisfaction.
Section of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended confers on the Federal High Court the exclusive jurisdiction to entertain admiralty matters. Often times most legal practitioners would prefer to take advantage of the legal objections to the arrest that may be available without providing security.
Once such an objection is upheld the Arrestor would most likely appeal to the Court of Appeal against the decision of the Federal High Court and request a Stay of Execution of the Ruling, which virtually means that the vessel remains under arrest.
The application for the release of a vessel is usually by a Motion on Notice, supported by an Affidavit containing relevant facts showing the grounds for applying for the release, the security or guarantee being offered and documents being exhibited, filed along with an affidavit of urgency to ensure an expeditious hearing of the Motion for release and it is usually heard after being duly served on the Arrester.
Thus a warrant for the arrest of a vessel or an order releasing a vessel can be granted exclusively by the Federal High Court.
The Court has the discretion to refuse or grant the release of an arrested vessel or to reduce or increase the amount in respect of which a bail has been provided. The court is also entitled to release a vessel on bail on the fulfilment of such terms and conditions as the court may deem fit to impose. The admiralty Court also has the power to impose terms and conditions including undertaking for damages for needless arrest The most essential element to consider when applying for an arrest is to ensure that the Applicant has a maritime claim as provided in the Admiralty Jurisdiction Act.
The quickest way to ensure that a vessel is released after being arrested is to pay the security and then raise legal objections if any. Most newbuilds are ordered from abroad but a few Nigerian shipyards build or assemble craft barges, tugboats and riverboats below 5, tonnes for use in inland waterways, cabotage operations and the lucrative support services to the oil and gas industry.
The size and sophistication of the products of these shipyards are growing steadily. There is no statutory regime governing shipbuilding, and the rights and obligations of the parties are circumscribed by the terms of the contract and the principles of English common law of contract.
The structure of most shipbuilding contracts mirrors the standard provisions as adopted elsewhere — that is, the shipyard undertakes to construct the vessel to specification and to deliver and pass title following completion of sea trials coupled with post-delivery warranties.
The purchaser, on the other hand, undertakes to pay for the construction of the vessel in instalments against the completion of specified milestones and to accept delivery and title.
Consequently, the choice of law clauses of most bills of lading in respect of shipments to Nigeria, providing for reliance on the terms of The Hague Rules Convention, have been upheld. Nigeria is not a party to the Hague-Visby Rules, but it signed the Rotterdam Rules and would need to make same an act of the National Assembly for the Rotterdam Rules to apply in Nigeria once the act comes into force.
The right to sue with regard to cargo claims was originally contained in the Bill of Lading Act the Act , being a pre United Kingdom statute of general application in Nigeria. By virtue of the Act, only the consignor, consignee and endorsee have privity and right to sue, often referred to as locus standi. As such, there is now a lacuna regarding applicable legislation detailing the right of suit principle in Nigeria, the cases that provide judicial precedent notwithstanding see footnote At best, it remains applicable as a common law principle of contract in Nigeria.
There are some notable exceptions to these rules as have been recognised, including the Brandt v. Liverpool 24 doctrine, whereby the holder of the bill of lading can maintain an action at common law where the court is able to infer or imply a contract on the bill of lading terms between the holder and the carrier in circumstances where the holder: takes delivery of the goods; pays freight or demurrage; or presents the bill of lading. The lack of capacity of a notified party to sue on a bill of lading was underscored by the Supreme Court in the case of Pacers Multi-Dynamic Ltd v.
Woermann-Line and Anor 26 that the action would be maintainable because property in the goods would have passed to the notify party, whose position changes to that of an endorsee.
The LLMC and its Protocol formed the basis of the Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims as stated in Sections to of the MSA, which set out the circumstances in which shipowners including the owners, charterers, managers and operators of a ship , salvors and their insurers may limit their liability for maritime claims, as well as the computation for that limitation. Sections 1 a to g of the MSA states the types of claims that are subject to limitation, while Sections a to e list the claims that may not be subject to limitation, such as claims for salvage or contribution in general average, oil pollution liability and claims in respect of nuclear damage.
If so, how would the limit of such claims be calculated? The author aligns with the first interpretation. Pending judicial interpretation of the above provision of the MSA, a revision of the MSA is being agitated to clear this ambiguity as well as other salient issues highlighted herein.
The entry into force of the amendment to the limit of liability in the Protocol on 8 June 29 Protocol Amendment presupposes an increase in liability for the relevant maritime claims. This may not be the case in Nigeria as it is arguable that the Protocol Amendment does not automatically apply in Nigeria, pursuant to Section 1 f of the MSA, as the Constitution requires every convention to be domesticated via a law of the National Assembly before it can have force of law in Nigeria.
The matter is further compounded by the fact that the MSA states expressly, in Sections to , the limits provided for in the Protocol. It is therefore imperative that the MSA be amended to accommodate amendments to the Protocol such as the Protocol Amendment and how such amendments would be incorporated into the express thresholds of limitation of liability as set out in the MSA to enable Nigerians to benefit from these developments in line with international best practice.
Order 15 Rule 1 4 of the AJPR provides that a limitation of liability proceedings shall be commenced through the filing of an originating summons at the registry of the Federal High Court. An originating summons is expected to be accompanied by the following processes: 1 an affidavit setting out the facts relied upon; 2 copies of all the exhibits to be relied upon; and 3 a written address.
An action for limitation is commenced as an admiralty action in personam against at least one of the possible claimants in a maritime claim as a defendant , who must be served before the case may be set down for hearing or determination given in default of appearance. This generally means that it must be a proprietary maritime claim or a general maritime claim.
A claim for the satisfaction or enforcement of a judgment given by a court including a court of a foreign country against a ship or other properties in an admiralty proceeding in rem is also a proprietary maritime claim. Section 2 3 of the AJA states the claims that fall under a general maritime claim.
These include, but are not limited to, claims for damage done or received by a ship whether by collision or otherwise , claims in respect of goods, materials or services including stevedoring and lighterage services supplied or to be supplied to a ship for its operation or maintenance, claims for loss of life, or for personal injury, sustained in consequence of a defect in a ship or in the apparel or equipment of a ship as well as arising out of an act or omission of the owners or characters of a ship.
The AJA stipulates that an action in rem can only be brought if there is a proprietary maritime claim or if, in the case of a general maritime claim, the action can be brought in personam against the proprietor of the vessel in question. This application must be supported by an affidavit deposed to by the applicant, its counsel or its agent.
The applicant is required to provide the following with the ex parte application: an undertaking to indemnify the ship against wrongful arrest; and an undertaking to indemnify the Admiralty Marshal in respect of any expenses incurred in effecting the arrest. Where a sale is ordered by the court, a valuation of the ship is carried out, after which an advert is published in two national newspapers.
The sale is conducted by the Admiralty Marshal within 21 days of the newspaper advertisements appearing.
The proceeds of the sale are paid into court and the Admiralty Marshal files an account of sale and vouchers of the account. Section 20 of the NIMASA Act empowers the Agency to establish the procedure for the implementation of international maritime conventions of the IMO, the ILO and other conventions on maritime safety and security to which the government of Nigeria is a party, especially by making regulations in respect of any such implemented convention.
Although vessel inspection under PSC is relatively low when compared with vessel traffic, Nigeria is one of the leading nations in Africa, having inspected more than ships in and detained Also, Nigeria is one of the countries with the highest positive performance indicators in the — Shipping Industry Flag State Performance Table prepared by the International Chamber of Shipping.
Continuous efforts are being made to train PSC monitors, inspectors, surveyors and other key officials. The idea of making Nigeria a hub in port operations cannot be removed from an effective PSC in the country and other member states. There is no provision for dual registration, as a vessel may only fly the flag of one country.
Consequently, there is a requirement for vessels already registered under a foreign flag to deregister their current present port or state registries in order to be registrable in Nigeria. However, the NSR permits provisional registration of a vessel for six months to allow it sail into Nigeria with the Nigerian flag before completing a full registration on arrival.
The NSR is equally responsible for maintaining the Cabotage Register for vessels eligible to participate in the Nigerian cabotage trade. As part of the requirements for Nigerian ship registration, an applicant is required to provide a current certificate from an approved international classification society.
The functions of the MEMD are generally derived from the IMO Conventions relating to the protection of the marine environment against pollution and any other related conventions adopted by the IMO from time to time. The Collision Regulations further provide for the rights of NIMASA-approved inspectors to inspect ships for the purpose of enforcing the Regulations, as well as for the duty of a ship master to other ships and occupants of ships with which they collide to report collisions.
The MSA also provides for the Merchant Shipping Wrecks and Salvage Regulations , which essentially set out the procedure for investigating wrecks and salvage. Whereas the Cabotage Act provides that only vessels that are wholly owned and wholly manned by Nigerian citizens, as well as being built and registered in Nigeria, are entitled to engage in domestic coastal carriage of cargo and passengers within Nigerian waters, Section 8 of the Cabotage Act permits foreign vessels engaged in salvage operations, as determined by the Minister of Transportation to be beyond the capacity of Nigerian owned and operated salvage vessels and companies, to operate in Nigerian water.
The foregoing requirement for ministerial determination, however, shall not apply to any foreign vessel engaged in salvage operations for the purpose of rendering assistance to persons, vessels or aircraft in danger or distress in Nigerian waters. According to the MSA, the responsibility for removal of any ship that becomes a wreck is placed on the shipowner. The MSA further provides for the Receiver of Wrecks to take possession, raise, remove or destroy the whole or any part of the vessel.
It is an offence for any person other than the Receiver of Wrecks or the shipowner to carry out any of the aforementioned without the written permission of the Receiver of Wrecks. Also, in a manner it thinks fit, the Receiver of Wrecks may sell any part so raised or removed and any property recovered in the exercise of its powers. Despite the foregoing provisions, the Receiver of Wrecks, owing to the paucity of funds and administrative bottlenecks, has been unable to efficiently remove identified hazardous wrecks when shipowners have failed to do so.
This is further compounded by several claims from alleged shipowners when the Receiver of Wrecks seeks to exercise its power of sale to raise the required funds or remove the wrecks after the shipowners have failed to remove them within the time limit set by the Receiver of Wrecks. It is expected that the Receiver of Wrecks and the NIMASA would put in place the framework for a mutually beneficial relationship with recyclers, with whom the Receiver of Wrecks can partner to remove and efficiently dispose of wrecks.
However, the Nairobi WRC does not have the force of law in Nigeria, as it is yet to be ratified and enacted as legislation or a law of the National Assembly, as required by Section 12 of the Constitution.