Ogun Customs records N53.3million seizures in 2 weeks
Nabs 4 suspects for illicit border trade
By Silas Onuoha
Smugglers operating within Idiroko axis, the border between Nigeria and Republic of Benin, are currently facing a hard time, as Ogun Command of Nigeria Customs Service ,NCS, clamped down on economic saboteurs at that area and seized smuggled items with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N53.3million.
The Command also nabbed four suspects in connection with the seizures, even as one out of the four culprits has been arraigned at the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, while the other three are still being interrogated by the Command.
Addressing Journalists at Idiroko, the new Customs Area Controller (CAC) of Ogun Command, DC Agbara Ojobo Michael, “I took over Ogun Command precisely on Wednesday April 17, 2018, and I said clearly that I would consolidate and also improve on the performance of my predecessor. The fulfillment of my promise can be justified based on successes recorded during this period under review (from April 17 to May 2, 2018). During this short period, a total of 30 seizures with Duty Paid Value ,DPV, of N53.3million have been made.”
The CAC further explained, “The items seized include; 28 tokunbo vehicles, 24 means of conveyance, 3,041 bags of foreign rice, 14 bags of foreign sugar, three bales of secondhand clothing, 295 gallons of vegetable oil, 211 gallons of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and 99 compressed book packs of Cannabis sativa (popularly known as Indian Hemp), among other items”.
“In the same vein, four suspects were arrested in connection with smuggling of various prohibited items. One out of the four has been arraigned at the Federal High Court, Abeokuta and others will soon follow.”
The words of the CAC, “Seizure of the above mentioned quantity of rice will surely impact on the Federal Government policies on Agriculture development, particularly in the area of boosting local rice production. On the other hand, the seizure of petroleum product intended to be smuggled out of Nigeria by some economic saboteurs is a sound bite to intending smugglers of such items, while the cannabis sativa seized has thwarted the devilish motive of some drug traffickers and addicts”.
“Similarly, we have succeeded in meeting with critical stakeholders, including neighbouring colleagues of Benin Republic. Some of the stakeholders visited include; Head of Customs in Igolo of Benin Republic, Commissioner of Police, Ogun State, Alake of Egbaland, the Director of DSS, Ogun State, all Heads of sister security agencies within Idiroko border, among other stakeholders. The aim of such visits is to promote synergy geared towards effective and efficient service delivery”.
“On your way to Idiroko, you must have noticed the aggregation of the numbers of checkpoints manned by personnel of NCS. This is gigantic effort aims at achieving one of the core functions of Customs, that is trade facilitation, and to passionately key into the Federal Government Executive Order, on ease of doing business”.
“Our desire for respecting and abiding by the rule of law was stressed to the officers and men assembled at our routine parade today. The officers were reminded to desist from extortion, collusion and permissive behaviour, capable of attracting severe sanctions for any culprit, while hard work and exemplary behaviour will henceforth be rewarded adequately.”