Ogun Customs Intercepts over N438.9million seizures
.Seizes 550 kegs of petrol, 12,720 bags of foreign rice, 83 vehicles
.Rakes in over N3.2bn
.Arrests suspects in connection with killing of officer
By Udeme Clement
The Ogun Command of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has recorded tremendous success in its anti-smuggling drive, as the Command intercepted 83 units of vehicles, 37 tokunbo and 46 means of conveyance, 12,720 bags of foreign rice, 446 kegs of vegetable oil, motorcycles, over 778 pairs of foot-wears, 22 bales and four sacks of secondhand clothes, 33 hand-bags, 583 used tyres, 550 kegs of petrol and over 143 sacks of Cannabis sativa (Indian Hemp), amounting to over N438.9 million in Duty Paid Value.
The Command also raked a whooping sum of over N3.2 billion into the coffers of the Federal Government.
The Customs Area Controller, CAC, of the Command, Comptroller Agbara Ojobo Michael, disclosed this during a press conference at Idiroko, taking Journalists round the Customs premises where seized items were seen everywhere, even up to Senior officers’ mess and the gate.
He explained, “It will interest you to know that within the period of January 1, to March 31, 2019, we generated a total of N3.2 billion, as against N1.3 billion collected the same period in 2018. While in the area of anti-smuggling during the period under review, the Command made 226 seizures.
Comptroller Agbara went on, “In the inspirit of inter-agency cooperation, our Command intercepted and handed over 1.8 tons (176 sacks, 120 compressed book packs and 21 compressed coconut packs) of cannabis sativa, commonly known as Indian Hemp to NDLEA, Ogun State Command, on Wednesday March 13, 2019, at the Command headquarters, Abeokuta. The said items were seized by officers and men of our Command at different locations along the border areas of Ogun State”.
His assertions: “These activities were raveled with series of clashes between officers of the Command and some dare devil smugglers/accomplices leading to loss of lives and properties.
“It is pertinent to reiterate the fact that while the Service will continue to dialogue, engage, sensitise and educate the public on social/economic implications of smuggling, we will not relinquish our statutory functions of enforcing compliance with strict adherence to rules of engagement”.
“It is pertinent to also inform you that while the suspects involved in the murder of Customs officer (Ca I Hamisu Sani), on January 6, 2019, are on trial, the Command has succeeded in arresting three suspects involved in the attack of my men on lawful duty at Papalanto, on Friday, March 8, 2019.
“The suspects have been arraigned before the Federal High Court in Abeokuta and currently on remand in prison for obstruction of officers while on duty, armed with dangerous weapons, in contravention of Section 11 of CEMA CAP 45 LFN 2004 as amended.
“Also, the smuggler who mobilised motorcycle (okada) riders to attack officers and even vandalised our sign post at Quarry road, Abeokuta on Saturday, March 23, 2019, has been apprehended and is presently undergoing interrogation for arraignment in court”.
The CAC enthused, “I wish to commend the synergy we are receiving from sister agencies, opinion leaders, head of traditional institutions, eminent personalities and other law abiding members of the public. We will continue to count on your support in protecting the economic and social well-being of our dear nation”.