Ogun Customs records massive seizures
.Arrests 4 suspects over smuggling
By Udeme Clement
The new Customs Area Controller ,CAC of Ogun Command of Nigeria Customs Service ,NCS, DC Agbara Ojobo Michael, is talking tough, as the Command within just two weeks under his supervision, recorded what can vividly be described as rain of seizures.
Our correspondent on a visit to the Command observed that the whole premises of Ogun Customs at Idiroko, the border between Nigeria and Republic of Benin, was used for seized items intercepted by the Command within this short period.
The Command swiftly arrested four suspected smugglers within the same period, prosecuted one in court, while three are still being interrogated.
It was also observed that massive seizures of rice, vegetable oil, textile materials, cannabis sativa, tokunbo vehicles among numerous items were packed at every corner of the Command, from the main gate, to the entrance of the Senior Officers Mess and the path linking the CAC’s premises, even as some seized items were displayed in the open.
Briefing Journalists at Idiroko, the CAC stressed that the Command under his watch is working assiduously to consolidate and improve on the records, as well as the structures he met on ground.
He said, “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 pointed out, “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, 295gallons of vegetable oil, 211 gallons of petrol and 99 compressed packs of Cannabis sativa (commonly 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 follow soon”
The CAC further explained, “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”.
He went on, “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”.
He went on, “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”.
He emphasized, “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.”