Seafarers group issue warning to NIMASA over unpaid crew

The Merchant Seafarers Association of Nigeria (MESAN) has warned the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) against issuing clearance for the sale of MT ADEBOMI 1, alleging that the vessel and its owners were owing Captain Williams Ogunsakin and his crew unpaid salaries.

In a letter to the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, dated September 21, 2022, and signed by a lawyer, S’Schweitzer Grorge for MESAN, the association informed that the matter was already in court, while the shipowners plan to dispose of the vessel through the back-door.

MESAN had in 2020, raised an alarm that Stallionaire Oil and Gas Limited, owners of Nigerian Ship MT ADEBOMI 1 was owing its crew salaries for more than one year.

The association alleged that the seafarers were not paid between December 2018 to May 2019 when the seafarers duly disembarked from the vessel without any fracas or complaints from their employer.

The association also alleged back then, that Stallionaire issued the Captain and entire crew dud cheque for their outstanding salary after replacing them with a new crew on May 11, 2019.

According to a petition signed by the Secretary of MESAN, Capt Alfred Oniye, the affected crew, include Capt. Ogunshakin Williams (Master), Engr. Joseph Dibia (Chief Engineer) and Kolawole Bolakale Issa (Chief Cook), among others.

However, a fresh letter signed by the association’s lawyer and made available to The Guardian, alleged that the crew is yet to be paid their allowances.

The letter reads in part: “Pursuant to our letter of May 27, 2020, with the above subject matter highlighted as regard Captain William Rotimi Ogunsakin and the crews of MT ADEBOMI 1 unpaid salaries.

“It is imperative to notify you that the matter is already in court and the concerned ship is put up for sale according to information reaching us from an impeccable source.

“However, while we sit aloof to watch out for the next line of actions, it is trite law to send a note of warning to them, reminding them of the implication of their action.

“We are confident in your ability not to clear MT ADEBOMI 1 for sales, as we are beckoning on you to use your good office to expedite action at the earliest possible time” the letter reads in part.”