NAGAFF lauds Customs on seizure of N1.2bn hard drugs
*Says outstanding officers deserve commendation from Customs management
By Udeme Clement
Two weeks after the Customs Area Controller, CAC, of Western Marine Command, Comptroller Olugboyega Peters and his men destroyed 10 tons of Cannabis Sativa (Indian hemp), worth over N1.2billion, intercepted on the high sea, maritime stakeholders are still giving the Command encomiums on the outstanding seizure.
While some described the seizure as the first of its kind in Nigeria, others expressed deep appreciation to officers who put their lives on line to intercept the hard drugs on high sea, notwithstanding the dangers they faced at sea.
Research also shows that the N1.2billion worth of Cannabis Sativa is the largest single seizure of dangerous drugs ever recorded by any Command at sea, in the history of Nigeria Customs Service.
In a chat with maritime Journalists in his office at Apapa, Lagos, the Founder of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr Boniface Aniebonam, commended Comptroller Peters and his team for the seizure and subsequent destruction of the drugs.
He said that the officers who carried out such risky assignment to protect the nation’s economic environment from negative influence of hard drugs deserve commendation from the top Customs Management under the leadership of CGC Ali Hameed, as well as international recognition.
Dr Aniebonam said, “The Customs Management has done a lot in rewarding officers who are outstanding and dedicated to the Service. I believe such reward will be extended to officers of Western Marine Command, who took the risk to intercept such large quantities of Cannabis Sativa on high sea, an operational terrain that is extremely dangerous.”
He pointed out, “Rewarding the officers who carried out such national assignment will spur them to do more, not just for the Service but to the country at large”.
Dr Aniebonam, who is an important stakeholder in Nigeria’s maritime industry added, “It will also encourage them to bring fresh impetus to bear in their operations, knowing that they are highly appreciated”.
Recall that the dangerous drugs were seized at Agaja Beach, an exit point on the high sea, at 1200hrs on April 21, 2020, through the use of intelligence by officers who spent days at sea trailing the offensive items. On June 26, 2020, the seized drugs were destroyed at Falola Beach, Badagry, Lagos.
Also remarkable is the fact that destruction of the drugs was carried out on June 26, 2020, which coincided with UN International Day against Drug Abuse and illicit trafficking.
The destruction exercise was witnessed by large turnout of representatives from Nigerian Army, Navy, NDLEA, Police and other security agencies in the country, as well as Journalists, even as a certificate of destruction was duly signed at the scene of destruction.
That was not all. The Chairman of Badagry West Local Government, Mr Joseph Gbenu and his team also witnessed the destruction of the drugs.