The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Ogun Area 1 Command, Ogun State, on Thursday, appealed to the state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, to prevail on the National Association of Ogun State Students (NAOSS) to desist from unsubstantiated allegations of arms and ammunitions importation against the service.
The NCS Controller for Ogun Area 1 Command, Comptroller Peter Kolo, made the appeal while briefing journalists at Idiroko border on activities of his command for the past month of August, 2021.
Kolo said the leadership of NAOSS would be doing the state more harm than good should they continually allege that personnel of the Nigerian Customs are illegally allowing importation of arms and ammunitions into Nigeria through the Ogun State borders as their parents, brothers and other kinsmen would be regarded as gun runners.
Disclosing that his command intercepted a total number of 4,138 bags of foreign parboiled rice each weighing 50kg for the month of August only, the Controller challenged the NAOSS leadership to come up with any evidence of the command’s allowing importation of arms and ammunitions, saying that “he who alleges must prove”.
Emphasising that the students’ allegation of importation of arms and ammunitions was a calculated attempt at embarrassing the command.
The NCS further stated that the unsubstantiated allegations was directed at portraying indigenes and citizens of Ogun State “in bad light”.
“It is imperative to draw the attention of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, members of the National and State House of Assembly (OGHA), traditional rulers, authorities of tertiary institutions and other respected opinion leaders in the state to this emerging security threat,” Kolo said.
Emphasising that there has never been a period when his command allowed such importation, Kolo however, declared that the students’ unsubstantiated allegation was being influenced by the smugglers, who have suffered heavy financial loss due to the anti-smuggling crusade of the command in recent times.
“Between January 2021 till date, our seizures have been unprecedented and as such causing heavy financial loss to the smugglers. This therefore, is why the smugglers are now sponsoring students to make this unsubstantiated allegations against NCS.
“Meanwhile, these are students, who ordinarily supposed to be in their respective schools, but now meddling in the affairs of the law enforcement agencies at the borders,” he added.
Giving a breakdown of the seizures made in August, NCS Ogun 1 Command’s Controller explained that a total number of 95 seizures, which comprised of 830 cartons of frozen poultry products, 592 kegs of petroleum products, packed in 25 liters keg each, six sacks of Cannabis Sativa as well as used clothes, used hand bags among others, with Duty Payable Value (DPV) worth over N72,589 million, were intercepted in the month of August alone.
Kolo further explained that the presidential order banning movement of goods across the land border which is still in force, accounted for the command’s poor revenue which stood at N1.997 million.