UK Jails four Nigerian Stowaways
A court in UK has sentenced four Nigerians, Samuel Jolumi, 27, Ishola Sunday, 28, Toheeb Popoola, 27, and Joberto McGee, 21 to jail after throwing faeces at sailors of the elite SBS, a special forces unit of the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy, and vowing to infect them with HIV during a tense stand-off in the Thames Estuary.
The stowaways who joined an Italian Merchant ship, Grande Tema before departing Lagos, Nigeria, were caught by the captain and sailors, kept and fed in a quarantine before the stowaways broke free on 21st December, 2018. The stowaways who were armed with metal poles threatened to kill crew members before helicopters with specialist sailors arrived to arrest them.
After a trial that lasted for 8 weeks, the stowaways on Friday, were cleared of attempting to hijack the ship. Popoola and McGee were found guilty of making threats to kill. Joberto McGee will be jailed for 32 months and Toheeb Popoola will be jailed for 31 months, while Ishola Sunday and Samuel Jolumi will be jailed for 16 months each.
Popoola and McGee had previously been sent back to Nigeria after stowing away on separate ships. Joberto McGee told UK police he had dreams of becoming a footballer when he reached the UK and Ishola Sunday said he is a married father.
While passing the sentence, Judge Nigel Lickley told the stowaways: ‘You paraded about that day as a menacing group, sometimes covering your faces. ‘This is an unusual case. You were all cleared of attempted hijacking of the ship and multiple threats kill.
‘You Popoola and McGee of one and two counts of making threats to kill. You might well have been terrorists who had secreted arms on board in advance. ‘There was serious fear or distress caused during this time to some of the crew. They feared confrontation, violence and potentially serious injury for many hours.’