Customs Wrong to Raid Ibadan markets — Ex-Customs Assistant Comptroller

The Federal legislator representing Osun East Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Francis Fadahunsi has criticized the market raids carried out by Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) officers saying that it was a misuse of power by the NCS officers who participated in the raid.

Senator Fadahunsi who retired as Assistant Comptroller General at the NCS has long been an outspoken critic of the current NCS leadership and recently called for the suspension and probe of the current Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Colonel Hameed Ali (retired) for corrupt practices.

Senator Fadahunsi noted that he spoke with the NCS hierarchy weeks after the Ibadan market raids and cautioned them to stop raiding markets and instead focus on the borders they are meant to be guarding.

The Senator disclosed that certain laws have to be implemented with common sense to be effective.

He also stressed that common sense is always required on the part of NCS officers when they discharge their duties.

The Senator said that the NCS should follow the law of only carrying out “operations of 40 kilometres to the border”.

He explained further by saying that the law had been agreed to by President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2004 and had been updated by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo recently and called the recent market raids an aberration to the laws and ethics followed by the NCS.

He also said that the NCS does not have the right to raid and burgle the shops of traders but could only seal their shops and invite them to the NCS head office in Abuja to decide what would be done to the items in the sealed shops.

He criticized the NCS for carrying out such raids while so many Nigerians are suffering because of the insecurity, poverty, hunger, unemployment currently rife in the country adding that many traders had to get loans at exorbitant interest rates only for the NCS to swoop in and seize their goods.

He concluded by pointing out that if the customs officers had done their jobs and manned the borders properly, the alleged contraband would not have found its way into markets.

He subsequently advised the NCS to improve their attitude and professionalism in line with the laws and ethics guiding the modus operandi of the NCS.

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