- Donates VTC equipment to increase surveillance on waterways
(Report by Udeme Clement):
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), has commended the Customs Area Controller (CAC) of Western Marine Command, (WMC), Comptroller Olugboyega Peters and his enforcement officers for their remarkable performance in tackling smuggling of illicit drugs on waterways.
Also, in recognition of their uncommon anti-smuggling feats, UNODC has donated Video Tele-conferencing CISCO WEBEX equipment, to be installed at their Command, to aid their operations on high sea.
Already, a delegate of UNODC headed by Miss Siji Song, has formally handed over the VTC equipment to the Command.
Addressing Journalists during a press conference held to hand over seizure of N694.5million Cannabis Sativa and six suspects to National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Comptroller Peters, disclosed that the VTC equipment was given to his Command on March 16, 2021 by UNODC.
His words : “In a bid for UNODC to fulfill its promise based on outstanding anti- smuggling performance of WMC on installing Video Tele-conferencing CISCO WEBEX equipment, the delegate of the UNODC headed by Miss Siji Song had on March 16, 2021 visited the Command and handed over the VTC equipment.
“After installation, the equipment will aid operational activities of Western Marine Command. It will also assist security agencies in responding to the fight against Piracy in the maritime industry.
” The equipment will be fully installed when all enabling tools are put in place by the Service.
This is a very good initiative because
with this type of equipment, we can stay in our office and monitor activities on the high sea.”
Responding to questions on anti-smuggling operations of the Command, Comptroller Peters stressed that their activities are guided by the laws enshrined in Nigerian Constitution.
He explained : “The Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap. C45 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004, as amended states as follows: Section 149 – gives Powers to search vehicles/ships;
Section 150 – Powers to search persons;
Section 158 – Powers to patrol freely;
Section 167 – Powers to detain/seize; and
Section 169 – Powers of forfeiture”.
More so, the CAC emphasised that rice importation into the country through land borders is NOT allowed by the Federal Government.
According to him, any individual who wants to bring in rice must follow due process and import through the seaports.
Observation at the scene :
During the press conference, our Correspondent observed that the six suspects arrested were all young men. Also, the Command now wears a new look, with a new office structure erected at the center of the premises.