The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has insisted that officials involved in the clesring of the 661 pieces of pump action rifles concealed under steel doors and uncovered by operatives of Federal Operation Unit, Zone A, Lagos will be brought to book.
The 49 boxes filled with the riffles were being ferried in a container from China along Mile 2 axis of the Apapa-Oshodi express road in Lagos when they met their waterloo.
Already by Tuesday, NCS said the officers who allegedly examined and cleared the ammunition-laden container at the Apapa port, Lagos State, have been declared wanted.
The two officers, Abdullahi I, with service number 44483 ASC, and Odiba Haruna Inah, with service number 133386, were said to had fled after the weapons were uncovered by the operatives of the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, Ikeja.
According to the spokesperson for the FOU, Jerry Attah, other suspects were cooperating, explaining that the two officers were declared wanted for their roles in the incident.
“Immediately the weapons were uncovered, they took to their heels and that is why we are declaring them wanted. They were the ones that examined and checked the container at the Apapa port.
“The other suspects, including three other officers, are still in our custody pending the conclusion of investigations. There will be no half measures. We will get to the root of the case.”
A document, signed by the DCG Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection, Dan Ugo, declaring the two men wanted.
The document, which displayed their pictures and force numbers, said, :“The above customs officers are wanted in connection with the clearance of a one-by-40-foot container no PONU/825914/3 found to contain 661 pump-action rifles.
“Whenever/wherever seen, they should be arrested and taken to the nearest customs formation.”
It was gathered that tendion is already high within the NCS as the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali (rtd) has ordered immediate investigation into the intricasies that led to the clearing of the consignment at the port before it intercepted.
According to him, the investigation will determine officials respondible for the initial examination, which is expected to lead to apprehension of others involved in the shady deal.
Already, three persons had been arrested in connection with the contraband during the official announcement by the CGC which he gave their names as including a 51 years old importer, Mr. Oscar Okafor; the 56 years old clearing agent, Mahmud Hassan; and a 28 years old Sadique Mustapha, said to be accompanying the consignment to its destination.
Explaining further on the seizure, the CGC had stated that a Mack truck with registration number BDG 265 XG conveying the 1by40ft container with number PONU/825914/3 was held by NCS and would be handed over to the appropriate government agency for more investigations.
“On January 22, 2017, the Roving Team of the NCS Federal Operations Unit, intercepted a Mack truck conveying the seized arms and ammunition.
“The truck was immediately taken to the premises of the FOU, Zone A were physical examination revealed 49 boxes containing a total number of truck was immediately taken to the premises of the FOU, Zone A were physical examination revealed 49 boxes containing a total number of 661 pieces of pump action rifles concealed under steel doors and other merchandise goods declaration.
“The owner of this container declared that the container contained steel doors and other merchandise goods. However, we have been able to discover this arms and ammunitions inside the container.