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Yewa Communities Petition Ogun Command/Idiroko Border Custom’s Comptroller

By Boluwaji Ajayi

Alleged unlawful confiscations and harassment: Yewa Communities Petition Ogun Command/Idiroko Border Custom’s Comptroller

Stakeholders from some communities in Yewa land in Ogun State, namely Idiroko, Ipokia, Ifonyitedo, Ajilete and Owode, have sent a save-our-soul letter to the Comptroller of the Nigeria Customs Service, Idiroko area Command, over the various inhuman treatments, unlawful confiscation of cars and personal belongings and gross act of impunity by some officers of the command against law-abiding citizens of the area.

In the petition letter signed by the chairman of the stakeholders’, Engr. Abdullateef Olaode and its secretary, Chief Boluwaji Ajayi, the residents urged the Customs boss to come to their plight and save them from the unprofessional conducts of some of his officers.

While stating that these few bad eggs of Customs in the area waylaid residents and Importers that have successfully complied with the various payments of Customs and Excise duties, stating that their over-zealousness have made them confiscate cars with genuine documents and papers.

Taking a particular case of illegal confiscation of Lexus RX350 2015 (VIN: 182576) by men of the Nigerian Customs Service, Idiroko Command on Saturday 20th October, 2018, as an issue of consideration, the stakeholders said they believe in the capacity and competence of the Comptroller to call his men to order.

The petition reads, “We write to intimate you with the unprofessional conducts of some of your officers who are working against the tenet of your stance of professionalism in the discharge of duties.

“A case in point is the illegal arrest and confiscation of a Lexus RX350 2015 by men of the Nigerian Customs Service, Idiroko Command on Saturday 20th October, 2018, around Oko-Eye area at about 7am.

“We gathered that the occupant of the car after he was flagged down by the Customs Patrol van, presented all the documents which are original but the team leader of the customs insists they are fake.

“After different unnecessary twists and turns without any verifiable justifications, the officer ordered one of his team members to take over the wheels without any form of digital confirmation of the papers and asked the occupants of the Lexus including his family members who were heading to a wedding ceremony to drop off.

“Surprisingly, they drove straight to the Customs seizure centre opposite Idiroko Police Station and forcefully ejected the driver of the car.

“All efforts to ask questions prove abortive as they dared the driver to go and report at the Comptroller’s office, saying that you can’t do anything to salvage the situation.”

While stating that there are many other instances of reference on the gross misconduct of some Customs officers in the axis, the stakeholders urged the Comptroller to come to their aid and save them from the constant harassment of some of his men.

“We are a law-abiding people and this is why we are making this plea. We believe that men of the command are there to protect our country, apprehend criminals but not to hurl and harass good citizens who complies with payments of duties on their cars.”

Oyedokun Julius <oyedokunjulius@gmail.com> 

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