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CG Adewale Adeniyi, MFR
Comptroller Hussein Kehinde Ejibunu

The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) zone A helmsman, Comptroller Hussein Kehinde Ejibunu says his men have been very civil in their anti-smuggling Operations in order not waste any human life.

Ejibunu told newsmen today while exhibiting a N751.1 million seizures made in the month of February that “We are trained not to shoot or take any life as long as officers’ lives are not at risk’

According to him, it is only on extreme cases when life is at risk that the Rules of Engagement (ROE) are evoked. He stated that in most cases, the public do not value the life of an officer but that if it were the other way round, a dangerous smuggler is felled down, it attracts more attention from same public.

Ejibunu shows seized second hand clothing
Supt Uzoaru giving his own account on how he made the mouth watering seizures

Ejibunu disclosed that officers who have performed extraordinary feats have been penciled down for special promotion noting that the final list is bein vetted.
Showcasing the feats of the Unit in February, he stressed

Due to violation of various sections of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023, and the federal government import and export prohibition guidelines, we vigorously and relentlessly prosecuted our anti-smuggling campaign which resulted in a total number of 93 seizures, arrest of 9 suspects made to prevent smuggling and protect our national economy.

According to him, the seizures made are worth a total duty paid value of N751,127,025. These outcomes were achieved despite the unrepentant behaviours of economic saboteurs who deploy many tricks and antics to beat our checks but they failed.

Ejibunu explaining a point to newsmen
Bags of indian hemp seized

He said a reference case is the smuggling of foreign parboiled rice in petroleum jerrycans along Ajilete in Ogun state which is not only illegal but also exposes the potential consumers to the risk of eating contaminated grains that have ingested poisonous properties possibly from premium motor spirit (PMS), diesel, or other petroleum products.

Supt Uzoaru officer in charge of Ajilete who made the uncommon Seizure and was commended by the Controller noted that the Seizure was made in a commercial vehicle.

He said the rice was stuffed in 1420 litre jerrycan, and ferried by the commercial vehicle.

According to him, non of the passengers claimed ownership, he therefore intercepted the questionable item and allowed the bus to continue its journey. Several wraps of Indian helms was also intercepted by Supt Uzoaru

Ejibunu’s Personal Assistant, Julius and a security detail, Ajayi

Ejibunu also said, we also prevented the smuggling of eleven exotic used vehicles worth over N200m into the country through our area of responsibility. Smugglers of these vehicles met our stiff resistance against their duty evasion and deviant behaviour.

He stated that the sum of N78,164,255.20 was recovered as revenue into the federation account through the issuance of demand notices (DN) on Customs duties that were discovered to be underpaid.

According to him, as usual, rice was top on the list of our February 2024 seizures in terms of volume and value. A total of 3,779 X 50kg bags of suspected foreign rice equivalent to over 7 trailer loads worth over N365m were seized from various parts of the South West.

Ejibunu showing seized dainty cars
Seized double barrel gun and cartridges from smugglers

Other items seized in the month under review include one locally made gun and six pieces of empty cartridges at Abeokuta road, 731 parcels of Indian hemp weighing 482kg, 1 X 40ft container found to contain 286 cartons of new rubber slippers, 7 units of used motorcycles, 28,000 litres of premium motor spirit (PMS) and 2,420 pieces of used tyres. Worthy of note is the interception of export bound three trucks headed to the Republic of Benin laden with 880 bags of white beans, 584 bags of onions and 18 bags of dry pepper at Ajilete/Idiroko road in Ogun state.

He also said, instead of seizing the food items, this Unit ensured the trucks were re-directed to the Nigerian markets where they were sold to Nigerians by the owners.

He stressed, as we approach the Easter celebration, we have strengthened our intelligence-led anti-smuggling operations strategies to forestall any attempt by smugglers and duty evaders to circumvent the law.

I hereby invite you to see some of these seizures under our custody and show them to the world to serve as a deterrent to anyone contemplating involvement in smuggling.

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