Symphony and Maintenance of Seized Ships: Experimenting U.S Maritime Court’s Practice in Nigeria



Maintaining and managing a seized ship is an important aspect of the Maritime Industry globally. In countries like the United States, measures have been put in place to ensure that when ships are seized in lieu of a maritime proceeding, such ships are adequately managed and maintained for that period. In contrast, when a ship is seized in Nigeria, there is little to no guarantee that the vessel will be maintained efficiently by the body responsible for its management. It is therefore essential to investigate the reason for such lack of guarantee and how it can be solved to improve the state of affairs in the country’s maritime sector. This research adopted a doctrinal method of research through analysis of statutory provisions as well as cases to use the power of reasoning to collect data from the use of Law textbooks, articles in journals, and various online resources. This paper aims to is to discuss the instances where states can seize ships, the procedure of arrest in Nigeria, forfeiture of ships and make a comparison to the procedure adopted in the Maritime Sector of the U.S, the challenges faced by the Nigerian Maritime Sector and recommendations on how ships can be better maintained through the establishment of Maritime or Admiralty Court and the posting of a bond by the owner of a seized ship for its release pending the determination of the maritime proceedings in court as practice in the US.


Court, Maintenance, Maritime Ship, Symphony


Abdulrasheed Bawa, 90 ships seized by EFCC rot away in Lagos, others accessed on January 15, 2022, at

Abdulrazaq O. Abdulkadir, (2016), “Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency: An Explication of its Powers of Enforcement in Nigerian Maritime Domain,” the University of Jos Law Journal, Vol. 11, at page 172.

David Osler, When can a state seize a vessel? Lloyd’s List (2019) accessed on January 15, 2021, at

Emeka Opara, Nigeria: Arrest of Ships In Nigeria: An Overview of the Procedure Kenna Partners Mondaq (2021) accessed on January 20, 2022, at

Federal High Court Act, Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004

Federal High (Court Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019

IMO.International Safety Management (ISM) Code/Guidelines on implementing the ISM Code, London, 1997.

K.K Anele, A Comparative Analysis of the Arrest of Ship Procedures in Nigeria and Korea: The Need for a Paradigm Change, Journal of Korean Law (2020) Vol. 19, 191-226 p.224.

K.K Anele, Rethinking the arrest of ship regime in Nigeria Commonwealth Law Bulletin, (2019) Vol. 0, No. 0, 1–28 available at

Mike Vaughn, Maritime Practise and Procedure: Arrest of Vessel Maritime Law Center accessed on January 15, 2022

Order 3 Rule 3 AJPR 2011.

Order 3 Rule 3(2), Admiralty Jurisdiction Procedure Rules (AJPR) 2011.

The Admiralty Jurisdiction Act of 1991.

The Admiralty Jurisdiction Rules of 2011.

Thomas J. Schoenbaum, Admiralty, and Maritime Law (Fifth ed., Thomas Reuters: St. Paul, MN 2012) 895.

Udora Orizu, Navy: Maintenance of Seized Vessels Affecting our Finances (2021) available at

Zweigert K. and Kotz H. Introduction to Comparative Law, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987), p.5.


Download data is not yet available.
Total Abstract Views: 38 | Total Downloads: 45



  • Abdulrazaq Owolabi Abdulkadir University of Ilorin, Nigeria
  • Saheedat Owolabi Lawal University of Ilorin, Nigeria



How to Cite

Abdulkadir, Abdulrazaq Owolabi, and Saheedat Owolabi Lawal. 2023. “Symphony and Maintenance of Seized Ships: Experimenting U.S Maritime Court’s Practice in Nigeria”. Fiat Justisia: Jurnal Ilmu Hukum 17 (2):179-92.