23 days of anti-smuggling exploits : Compt Ojo rattles economic saboteurs at Idiroko border, seizes dangerous drugs, petrol, items worth N380.4million

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23 days of anti-smuggling exploits : Compt Ojo rattles economic saboteurs at Idiroko border, seizes dangerous drugs, petrol, items worth N380.4million

Compt Ojo addressing reporters during the press conference

Call it 23 days of anti-smuggling exploits, giant strides, or 23 days of recording mind-boggling seizures, the reality is, the new Customs Area Controller, CAC, of Ogun 1 Command, Comptroller James Ojo and his enforcement team have shown resilience and dogged determination to protect the nation’s economy from nefarious activities of illicit traders at Idiroko axis, the border between Nigeria and Benin Republic.

Their courage and valiance in carrying out anti-smuggling duties from his first day at work paid off, with massive seizures of prohibited items worth over N380,370,911 (approximately N380.4million), recorded in just 23 days in office.

The seized items displayed in the open before Journalists, yesterday, during a press conference in Abeokuta, include 90 sacks and 1,309 parcels of cannabis sativa; 1,596 foreign used pneumatic tyres; 2,922 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each; 32 bales of used clothes, 1,603 Cartons of frozen poultry products, and 22,600 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, among others.

Addressing Journalists on the feats recorded by the Command in just few days, Compt Ojo said : “It is of essence to state that the aforementioned items were intercepted at different locations within Ogun State, with the aid of intensive intelligence strategies and concerted efforts of our intelligence network, such as the Customs Intelligence Unit, DSS and others”.

The new Area Controller, who frowned at illegal activities of die-hard smugglers, said Ogun 1 Command of Nigeria Customs Service under his watch remains highly committed and ready to thwart illicit trade in all ramifications.

The new Area Controller showing mind boggling seizures made in few days

He pointed out : “Permit me to briefly highlight the adverse effects of the seized items on the wellbeing of our citizenry, especially the cannabis sativa, pneumatic tyres and foreign rice.

“Cannabis Sativa, commonly known as marijuana or Indian hemp, is a psychoactive drug that is derived from the cannabis plant. It has devastating effects on the lives of its consumers, especially our youths. The rise in its abuse is of great concern within the Nigerian society and a threat to our national security, due to its potential influence on criminal activities, such as armed robbery, banditry, cultism, kidnapping terrorism and other criminalities”.

The CAC showing seizure of used tyres

He continued : “Foreign-used Pneumatic Tyres, more commonly known as Tokunbo tyres, are ring-shaped protective coverings made of rubber and filled with compressed air, typically used in foreign countries, and shipped into the country after use over Seas. These tyres are deemed unsuitable for our highways because, significant number of them have exceeded their recommended lifespan from the manufacturing dates.

“According to safety experts, good-quality pneumatic tyres are safe for use for only four years from the date of manufacturing. Any usage beyond this duration poses a significant risk to motorists and put their lives in jeopardy.”

Compt Ojo showing seizure of foreign rice

Compt Ojo emphasised : “Rice is a staple food eaten in many homes in the country. Its importation through the land borders was prohibited by the Federal Government of Nigerian (FGN) to encourage local production and be self-sufficient, as Nigeria is blessed with vast and fertile lands.

“This policy of the FGN may be perceived as difficult and unfriendly, but has a long-term great benefit when embraced. For instance, the much-appreciated foreign rice is a local produce in the countries of exportation, and these countries commenced their production with insignificant quantity before getting to their present commercial status. In a nutshell, the persistent smuggling of rice will continue to hamper our economic growth and development as a nation”.

The CAC highlighted interventions made by government to boost local production

Compt Ojo, who highlighted several interventions by government to boost local production, stressed; “We will overcome the economic situation in the country by God’s grace. Let us give the required support and cooperation to Nigeria Customs Service, and by extension to the FGN to improve our social security and economic wellbeing.”

He added : “To complement our anti-smuggling exploits, the Command generated the sum of N14,628,661 as revenue through baggage assessment and auction sales of petroleum products. Presently, the trading activities across the border is not encouraging but effort is on-going to address the identified challenges hindering the flow of trade.

“We are hopeful that this will enhance our revenue profile significantly. Let me use this medium to encourage our compliant traders to remain steadfast and be assured of our maximum cooperation. Our doors are open for consultation and required support.

“On this note, I will like to send a note of warning to economic saboteurs to stop smuggling and embrace legitimate trade. Anyone caught in the act will be made to face the wrath of the law.”

The CAC showing seizure of Cannabis sativa


The Area Controller reaffirms his dedication to duty and commitment to ensuring safety and well-being of the citizens, saying; “We remain resolute in carrying out our mandate in Ogun State with utmost patriotism. Your support and cooperation with mutual understanding will assist in facilitating our economic growth and social wellbeing.

“I humbly appreciate the enabling support given by CGC, Bashir Adeniyi MFR dsm fnipr fniia psc(+) and his management team. It will be an oversight not to recognise and appreciate the concerted and collaborative efforts of our gallant officers, as well as our critical stakeholders.”

The maiden press conference by Compt Ojo was well thought out. It paved the way for interaction between the media and the Command. Recall that Compt Ojo, took over the leadership of Ogun 1 Command in April 16, 2024, from his predecessor, Comptroller Ahmadu Shuaibu. Thus, only 23 days in office, he is working assiduously to raise the tempo of anti-smuggling operations within his area of responsibilities.

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