Allege killing of smuggler by FOU Customs false, misleading – Says Uba
.Top enforcement officer debunks claim
By Udeme Clement
The Customs Area Controller,CAC, Federal Operations Unit ,FOU, Zone ‘A’ of Nigeria Customs Service ,NCS, Comptroller Mohammed Uba, has described as false and misleading, the report on alleged killing of a smuggler by his Operatives on duty.
Speaking through the Public Relations Officer ,PRO, of the Unit, Mr. Jerry Attah, he condemned in strong terms the false report, stressed that FOU Operatives did not kill any smuggler yesterday in Lagos. “The report is a figment of the reporters imagination and capable of misleading the public”, he emphasized.
The CAC explained, “On Wednesday, January 17, 2018, FOU Operatives with the anti-smuggling team on a tip-off traced a Volkswagen LT Bus loaded with unspecified bags of smuggled foreign rice from Sango axis and eventually stopped the driver at Abule-Egba area of Lagos. Even before he was finally halted at Abule-Egba, the driver began shouting and making inciting statements, which attracted mob action against our Officers on duty.
“Immediately, hoodlums came out from different directions with dangerous weapons like broken bottles, stones and cutlasses to attack the officers, because the driver stopped at a place his associates where.
“Infact, given the support of the mob, he resisted lawful arrest and the FOU Operatives fired shots in the air to disperse the raging mob but to no avail. At that point, the Officers retracted to avoid casualty. The truth is that, no life was lost as at the time of that confrontation, though two of our Officers sustained injury.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the fact that a smuggler who sabotaged the nation’s economy has escaped security checks, either by following unapproved route or compromising any Officer does not guarantee that the smuggled items cannot be seized anywhere they are found by Patrol Officers, whose duty is to ensure compliance with government’s trade policy.
“In reality, FOU Operatives did not kill any smuggler yesterday as alleged by the report. We are urging media practitioners to always verify their facts before rushing to the press, so as not to give the public wrong information”.
Also, a top enforcement Officer of FOU who spoke with Financial Business & Maritime News debunked the allegation, warning smugglers to desist from illicit business capable of destroying the nation’s economy.