Pyrate Confraternity not a secret cult – Court rules

Florence Uwaeme

A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, on Tuesday, ruled that the National Association of Seadogs aka Pyrate Confraternity is not a secret cult and should not be regarded as such by authorities in the state.

In a suit filed by the trustees of the association against the Rivers state government, the State House of Assembly and the Attorney General of the state for listing the association as number 63 in the schedule of Rivers State Secret Cult and similar activities (prohibition) Amendment law of 2018, the judge ruled that the respondents ought not to have included the name of the group owing to an earlier judgment in Suit NO PHGC/1701/2005 between the association and Attorney General of the state on 25th May 2009.

Following the prayers of the appellant and the respondents in the suit, the sitting judge on the case, Justice A. Enebeli, ordered that the association’s name be delisted from the state schedule.

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While giving his judgment, Enebeli gave an order of ‘perpetual injunction’ restraining the respondents in the suit from listing the name of the association in subsequent amendments by the government of the state.

He added that the respondents or any of its agents are also prohibited from interfering in the activities of the seadogs or confiscating any property that belongs to the group.

NAS had several times in the past condemned its portrayal in the public as a cult group.

“NAS does not subscribe to any activity which is illegal, violent or operates outside of the law,” said Profesor Olatunde Makanju, the former president of Seadogs in 2007.