A Customs officer, Assistant Superintendent of Customs, Nura Dahiru, is currently undergoing medical examination for promoting himself to the rank of Comptroller-General and wearing the rank of a Deputy Comptroller General, to the Customs Headquarters in Abuja on Monday.
According to the Public Relations Officer of NCS, Mr Joseph Attah, a doctor was invited when the officer from Katsina state, visited the Customs CG, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) in his office and asked to take over as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari according to him.
He stated that Mr Dahiru was arrested after questions were asked and it showed that he was not in the right frame of mind.
“An ASC1 Officer by name Nura Dalhatu from Katsina state, Promoted himself to the Rank of CGC & Visited the Comptroller General (Col. Hameed Ali) in his office to take over as the new CGC as directed by the president according to him. He has since been arrested.
“From questions and answers that followed, it was obvious that he was not in the right frame of mind, so a Doctor was immediately invited.
“He is presently undergoing a medical examination at the medical unit of the service,” he added.
The Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), has asked Nigerians to stop eating foreign rice noting that they are poisonous.
Speaking at a news conference organized by the ministry of finance, the Customs Boss said that the Federal Government is yet to issue license for importation of rice and that any rice seen on the streets that was not produced in Nigeria is smuggled.
He said that imported rice is poisonous because before coming into the country, it must have spent a minimum of five years in the silos.
“A chemical must have been added to sustain its freshness and that chemical is harmful.
“Also, it has been re-bagged with a new date given as the production and expiry dates, and that is what we consume here which causes diseases.
“So, I appeal to Nigerians to please patronise our own rice, it is available, more nutritious and if you do that you will assist customs by making sure these people (smugglers) are put out of business.”
Ali said that rice importation was one of the biggest challenges the agency was encountering, adding that it still happens because Nigerians consume imported rice.
He added that if Nigerians stop buying the imported rice, smugglers will go out of business and there will be no need to bring it in.
“We always ask for assistance from Nigerians to apprehend these smugglers, but up till now, there is no private citizen that has walked up to us to give us information, the only people giving us information are the rice millers.”
The Nigeria Customs Service says it has detained four members of the patrol team involved in the killing of a civilian ‘friend’ named Godwin Onoja.
According to a statement by its spokesman, DC Joseph Attah, a panel set up to investigate the killing could not conclude its investigation because the officer, who accidentally shot Onoja, Destiny Onebamho, was receiving medical attention after he was attacked by motorists following the killing.
Attah said following the unfortunate incident on Sunday 17th February 2019 at Shagamu Interchange involving Operatives of the Federal Operations Unit Zone A, the Customs has continued to maintain close contact with the bereaved family.
“We are pained by this sad development and share the grief of losing a fellow compatriot in a seemingly avoidable circumstance. We are and will continue to take every necessary step that will cushion the pain associated with losing a dear one,” Attah stated.
He further informed that the Comptroller-General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) has directed a thorough investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the incident with the view to ensuring that justice is served.
“In line with this directive, the investigation panel headed by the Zonal Coordinator Zone A, ACG Kaycee Ekekezie has interrogated and detained four members of the patrol team.
“The panel could not immediately conclude the investigation because the actual officer (ASCI Destiny Onebamho) whose riffle discharged is presently receiving medical attention as a result of attack following the unfortunate incident.
“He will face the panel as soon as he is fit to do so, to enable the panel to conclude the investigation and recommend appropriate action(s).
“NCS is a reputable organization known for integrity and responsibility. In line with our corporate values, we will not shield any operative found wanting in this ongoing investigation. The Service appreciates the public concern and strong emotions drawn from the viral video with narratives that created various opinions.
“Nigerians will recall that in 2017, the Service made public its investigation and dismissal of five (5) officers implicated in the illegal release of the 661-pump action rifles from Apapa Port. The dismissed officers were immediately handed over for prosecution alongside the importer and agent. A prosecution that is ongoing at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi Lagos.
“In the same vein, the ongoing investigation will be holistic including looking at the weapon handling skills and actions that must be taken by the Service to possibly prevent future occurrence.
“We will continue to update the public details of every action taken in the handling of this unfortunate incident,” the statement read.
A video has emerged online showing the killing of a man allegedly by officials of the Nigerian Customs.
In the video, several commuters apparently from a commercial bus are seen arguing with Customs officials, with several other commuters from other vehicles watching.
Amid angry scenes, a passenger can be heard warning an official not to touch his phone, while some others were arguing with another official. As the argument continued, a voice is heard saying, ‘Shoot him’ and a gun went off immediately after.
The sound of the gunshot is believed caused some of the people at the scene to flee with some others repeatedly shouting in pidgin English that the Customs officials have killed someone.
While the video did not capture the officer who pulled the trigger, it showed one of them clutching a gun standing over the body of the man who had been shot.
After lifting the man’s hand, and seeing it fall limply to the ground, the official and his colleagues tried to get back into their cars, but the civilians at the scene rallied and prevented them from leaving.
Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Customs Service, DC Joseph Attah, confirmed that the incident occurred today, at the “Sagamu Interchange, along Ijebu Ode”.
He, however, said contrary to claims that the person killed was a passenger, the man who was shot was a friend of the officials.
According to the Customs, the incident occurred during an attempt to obstruct the lawful performance of duty by passengers of a commercial bus (a white Toyota Hiace) suspected to be carrying bales of used clothing.
Attah said that preliminary findings indicate that the deceased identified simply as Godwin was hit accidentally “during the skirmishes and struggle [by the passengers] to disarm the officer”.
Read the full statement below:
The attention of the Nigeria Customs Service has been drawn to a disturbing video going viral with conflicting narratives.
While it is painful and totally unnecessary to lose lives in anti-smuggling operations, today at Sagamu Interchange along Ijebu Ode, attempt to obstruct lawful performance of duty by passengers of a commercial bus (a white Toyota Hiace) suspected to be carrying bales of used clothing led to the death of a young man (Godwin) and serious injury of a Customs Officer ASC 1, Destiny Onebanho.
Contrary to some narrative, the young man was not a passenger of the bus but a good citizen who always comes to fetch water for Customs patrol men anytime they return to base.
Preliminary findings indicate that it was during the skirmishes and struggle to disarm the officer that the rifle discharged and the friend of the Customs (Godwin) who lost his life.
The Service is already in touch with the bereaved family.
Sadly, it should be noted that while attention shifted to the dead and the wounded, the passengers who filmed with incited commentary boarded their vehicle and left, leaving the wrong impression that it was one of them that was killed.
While the wounded officer is under intensive care at the hospital, the patrol team has been recalled to the office for further investigation.
DC Joseph Attah Public Relations Officer For: Comptroller-General of Customs
Operatives of the Nigerian Customs Service in Niger State has impounded a trailer carrying tramadol and other substances suspected to be illicit drugs worth about Forty-Four Million Naira (N44,000,000).
The trailer carrying the items was intercepted by the service’ special strike force along Minna-Suleja-Minna road.
They were concealed under sacks and other items.
Briefing journalists on the seizure and other seizures made, at the Nigerian customs service command headquarters in Minna, the national coordinator of the strike force, Deputy Comptroller of Customs, Abdullahi Kirawa said but for the eagle eye of men and officers in his team, the items would have made their way into the society, pointing out what dangers they could pose to the society.
He said one person has been arrested in connection to the items and that investigation is still ongoing to unravel other culprits.
Mr Kirawa called on members of the public to cooperate with the Nigerian customs service and to be vigilant to report any smuggling activities around them.
The Customs Service strike force coordinator also took members of the press around the warehouse of the showcase other items seized by the team, which include seven hundred and thirty-three bags of foreign rice, eighteen bales of used clothing, vehicles and used tires illegally being smuggled into the country through various routes.
Suspected smugglers have killed a customs officer and injured one other personnel during an encounter in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The incident was said to have occurred while the security operatives were on routine patrol in an attempt to secure smuggled rice into the state where eight vehicles loaded with bags of rice were intercepted.
Confirming the incident to reporters on Monday, Ogun Area Controller of Customs, Mr Michael Agbara, explained that the suspects had regrouped before attacking the security operatives.
“One of my gallant officers, Hamish Sani, lost his life in active service. One other member of the team had equally machete cut on the chest. That is exactly what happened,” he said.
Mr Agbara added that the deceased has been buried while the injured had been taken to a hospital for treatment.
He condemned the attack on the security operatives and revealed that two suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident.
The Customs controller described the attack on the officers as “a heinous crime”, adding that the culprits would not go unpunished.
He, thereafter, asked other personnel of Customs not to be discouraged by the incident but see it as more reason why smugglers and other criminal elements must not be spared.
“They cannot go away with it. We will pursue them and bring them to justice, and I think that is the only time the spirit of the dead will rest,” Agbara said.
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.
The Nigerian Customs says it has impounded 59 containers of tramadol between Lagos and Rivers State in the last one month.
Deputy Comptroller-General in charge of Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection of Customs, Augustine Chidi, stated this on Monday during a press conference at Area 2 Command in Onne Port, Rivers State.
He said, “They are under seizure of 9 by 40 containers of Tramadol and other controlled pain-killer drugs with a duty-paid value of N3.06 billion. These 9 containers were falsely declared as containers containing PVC bulb valves and general merchandise goods.
“But upon diligent profiling of the exporter in the country of origin India, there was reasonable suspicion that eventually led to the discovery of the dreaded drugs.”
According to the Customs boss, the offence contravened Section 46 of Customs and Excise Act, CAP LFN (2004).
Chidi further stated explained that the Comptroller General of Customs, Colonel Hameed Ali (retired) has ordered an investigation into the matter with a view to “bring the perpetrators to justice”.
The Deputy CG also reiterated the commitment of the service in preventing the importation of products considered as dangerous to the nation and also its efforts in raking revenue for the Federal Government.
He added, “The NCS in increasing reliance on intelligence and technology continues to make it difficult for smugglers to have their way.
“I call on communities especially border community dwellers and port users to desist from the importation of illicit drugs and also support NCS by providing credible information that will help us do better.”
The Nigeria Customs Service on Thursday seized 40-foot containers loaded with tramadol and other drugs from India worth N7, 318,978,065.00.
According to a statement by the spokesman for the service, Joseph Attah, officers also intercepted a helicopter and an aircraft from the United States of America over failure to provide end-user certificate and other documents.
Attah explained that the arrest was made possible following intelligence and collaboration with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NAFDAC).
The statement read v in part, “It is in line with the determination to fight this ugly trend that the Apapa Command of the Service intercepted 40 X 40 feet containers, mostly from India, laden with Tramadol and other pharmaceutical products with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of Seven Billion, Three Hundred and Eighteen Million, Nine Hundred And Seventy-Eight Thousand And Sixty-Five (N7,318,978,065.00) Naira only.”
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Colonel Hameed Ali (retired) also reiterated his commitment to boosting revenue for the Federal Government and also tracking down criminals, especially illegal drug dealers.
He said, “The service is not only making concerted efforts to ensure that only maximum revenue is collected but also to safeguard the security and well-being of the citizenry.
“We are all aware of the dangers that the deliberate non-compliance to import and export procedures pose to our nation as importers bring in all manner of items which put the security and health of the nation at great risk.
“Terrorists, kidnappers and other criminal elements get hold of these goods such as controlled drugs to perpetrate their heinous activities.”
Speaking further, the customs boss decried a situation whereby some importers would induce officers of the service with lucrative money in a desperate move to import harmful products into the country.
He said, “Importers of this items offered bribes to the tune of N150 million to my officers to effect the release of just one container with promises of even bigger sums to follow in the event that, their first attempt succeeds.
“The Officers played along and eventually arrested three suspects with the money. Let me assure you that the on-going investigation will be thorough to bring all those remotely connected to justice.”
On the seized aircraft, Ali said the action violates Section 36 of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA),Cap C45, LFN2004.
He explained that Investigations are on-going to fish out the owner(s) of the helicopter and the second aircraft, a Cessna 182A imported from the US.
The Federal Operations Unit Zone C of the Nigeria Customs Service on Wednesday intercepted a truck loaded with military wears, arms and ammunition.
Comptroller Federal Operations Unit, Zone C Kayode Olusemire, told journalists in Owerri, the Imo State capital that the truck, alongside three suspects, were arrested around the Onitsha Head bridge in Anambra State based on an intelligence report.
He explained that the uniforms and the ammunition were carefully concealed in a lorry truck loaded with household wares.
“There is no way you can see a truck like this and know it is conveying something (a dangerous weapon) like this but with intelligence, we were able to detect it,” he said.
Comptroller Olusemire also displayed another truck seized for conveying foreign rice and other prohibited items.
He warned smugglers and those trading in contraband goods to desist from such activities noting that the Nigeria Customs Service is determined to rid the nation of contraband and illegally imported goods.
This recent arrest is coming less than two months after the unit intercepted a trailer loaded with military uniforms along Benin-Ore axis.
A 25-year-old man simply identified as Kehinde in Ebute community along Oja-Odan Road has been reportedly shot dead by operatives of the Nigerian Customs Service in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State.
The deceased who was said to be the son of a retired military officer was allegedly shot dead in the early hours of Wednesday by Customs officials who were in search of smugglers in the area.
Channels Television gathered that the deceased, a farmer who also doubled as a labourer, was shot dead on his way to the farm.
An eyewitness explained that the Customs officers stormed the area in the morning to arrest some smugglers who had fled before their arrival.
“They accused the deceased who was holding a cutlass and on his way to the farm of being a smuggler and shot him to death,” he alleged.
The Customs officers reportedly fled the scene leaving the body of the farmer behind and they returned minutes later with about 15 patrol vehicles to carry his remains.
They were, however, reportedly stopped by some Army officers believed to have been contacted by the deceased’s father.
The body of the farmer was later deposited at the morgue in Ilaro General Hospital while the residents of the community have demanded justice.
When contacted, the Customs Public Relations Officer in the state, Abdulah Maiwada, confirmed the incident to Channels Television.
He said the operatives were in the area to trail a military truck being smuggled into the country through the area.
Maiwada explained that the officers were attacked by the residents of the community but they resisted and called for reinforcement to cordon off the area.
He said during the encounter, one of the hoodlums was shot at the upper part of his leg (pelvic girdle) and consequently died.
The Ogun State Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has explained the circumstances that led to the killing of a 25-year-old man, identified as Kehinde in Ebute community in Yewa North Local Government Area of the state.
Public Relations Officer of the Ogun Command, Mr Abdulah Maiwada, clarified the controversy trailing the death of the young man in a statement on Thursday.
He explained that some customs officers had stormed the area following an information that a military truck-head was smuggled into the country and kept in the area.
Maiwada said in an attempt to secure the vehicle, some persons he described as unscrupulous members of the community blocked the access road and pelted the personnel with stones, bottles and other dangerous items.
He added that the Customs officers resisted the attack and called for reinforcement to cordon off the area for the safe evacuation of the truck.
The command spokesman, however, said a man was shot at the upper part of his leg (pelvic girdle) and consequently died.
According to him, normalcy has since returned to the area with the intervention of police and military personnel, while the truck has been secured at the Customs House in Abeokuta for further investigation.
Read the full statement below;
Officers of Nigeria Customs Service Ogun Command on routine patrol based on credible intelligence at about 0830hours trailed a military truck-head smuggled into Nigeria and kept at Ebute Community. In an attempt to secure the said vehicle, some unscrupulous members of the community mobilized themselves by blocking the access road and started pelting our personnel with stones, bottles, cutlasses, sticks and other dangerous items.
Considering the implication of such truck to national security, our Officers resisted and called for reinforcement to cordon the area for the safe evacuation of the truck.
Unfortunately, during the encounter, one of the hoodlums was shot at the upper part of his leg (pelvic girdle) and consequently died.
Meanwhile, Normalcy has since been returned with the intervention of police and military personnel. The truck has been secured at Customs House Abeokuta for further investigation (pictures attached).
Finally, we wish to commend the patriotic role of our sister Agencies, Traditional leaders, eminent personalities and some host communities who have always partnered with us in our quest to effectively secure our nation.