Court Orders Destruction Of Tramadol Loaded In 14 Containers
A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the destruction of tramadol loaded in 14 containers, which was confiscated at the Apapa Wharf in Lagos, by the Nigerian Customs Services (NCS).
The court presided over by Justice Saliu Saidu on Tuesday gave the order while granting an exparte application filed by the NCS’s lawyer, Mr Ogunlowo Bisi.
The application was brought pursuant to Order 26, Rule 8(1) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) rules 2009 and the provisions of Sections 167 and 169(1)of the Nigeria Customs Services Management Act of 2004.
The Customs Services had asked the court to authorize the destruction of the content of all 14 containers.
After listening to the submission of the Customs’ lawyer, Justice Saidu granted the application.
An affidavit in support of the exparte application deposed to by Dabaj U. H, an Assistant Comptroller of Customs (AC) and an Officer in Legal Section Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Services, stated that in the course of effecting the assigned role and carrying out their official duties, Customs personnel particularly between February 20th, 2018 and 28th September 2018, intercepted and apprehended from smugglers all the goods contained in the 14 containers.
The deponent stated that the owners and importers committed acts of fraudulent evasion of Customs duty, concealment or goods and/or outright act of smuggling of goods into Nigeria as a result of which they were accosted but escaped, thereby abandoning the goods for fear of being arrested and prosecuted by the Customs Authority.
He also stated that apart from acts of smuggling, fraudulent evasion of duty, some of the defaulters brought in outright unlawful and prohibited items, which are so classified by the Customs Law and Provisions.
The affidavit also noted that since the dates of seizure of the said drug, nobody has come forward to claim ownership of it.
The court was, therefore, urged to grant the application in the interest of justice as refusal will certainly aggravate the deterioration of the said Tramadol and thereby constitute serious health problems and environmental hazards to the people at the Ports and ultimately to the detriment of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
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