- Nnadi commends FG’s ongoing road reconstruction at Agbara, Badagry, Ibereko
Despite arresting two officials of sister security agencies in connection with the seizure of large sacks containing five hundred and fifty-three (553) parcels of Cannabis Sativa worth N10million, the Seme Border Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has maintained that the development wouldn’t deter the Inter-Agency collaboration at the border region.
The Area Controller of Seme Border Command, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Comptroller Dera Nnadi mni, emphasized this yesterday while briefing journalists on the recent seizures made amid Sallah celebrations at the weekend.
Responding to a question by News Diet on the need to emphasize integrity and patriotism among security agencies whose officials contribute to smuggling and other illicit practices at border posts, Comptroller Nnadi said; “We can’t legislate character because character and conduct are peculiar to individuals. The conduct of those two officials arrested in connection to the seizures do not represent the character and conduct of the agencies. So, I believe that the respective agencies will deal decisively with their officials.”
He, however, stressed that the existing synergy between Customs and other agencies at the Seme-Krake border won’t be hampered on account of deceitful practices of few officials he described as ‘bad apples’.
His words: “There is a collaboration between NCS and other security agencies as well as non-security agencies at Seme-Krake border. I’m the Chairman of the Joint-Border Security Management Team in this part of the country. In this joint security management committee, we also have the Nigerian Airforce 251 Battalion, the Squadron Operational Base of the Nigerian Navy, Department of State Security Service, Plant Quarantine, Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), among others and we have the Local Government Chairman of Badagry. We all work hand-in-gloves to ensure that the security and mandate of each agency is maintained. While the conduct of the two officials from seperate agencies is condemnable, it doesn’t mean that their agencies supported such conduct.”
Recall that on the 21st of April 2023 at about 0403 hours, officers of the Command, while on routine patrol along the Abidjan – Lagos Corridor intercepted a Ford Bus with registration number EPE 622 YC at Gbatrome, Badagry. Upon search of the bus, seven large sacks containing 553 parcels of Cannabis Sativa, also known as Indian Hemp, were discovered.
“Four male occupants of the vehicle comprising of two civilians and two members of one of the sister security agencies conveying the contraband items were arrested.”
“The contraband narcotics valued at about N10million and the means of conveyance were taken to the station at Seme and detained pending further investigations. Also taken to the station are the four male suspects who have volunteered statements. However, the two members of one of the sister security agency were handed over to their agency for further necessary action. Preliminary investigation following the questioning of the suspects revealed that the Indian hemp was destined for Kaduna State,” the Customs boss noted.
Meanwhile, the Customs Area Controller appreciated the Federal Government’s ongoing efforts at rehabilitating the border corridor roads along the Seme Border route.
“We appreciate the Federal Government for the attention currently paid to the failed portion of the Lagos-Abidjan road corridor, particularly the area between Agbara, Ibereko and Badagry roundabout. The serious efforts being made is commendable and we sincerely appreciate the efforts.”
“On behalf of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hammed Ali (Rtd), I thank the Ministry of Works and the Ministry of Transportation for helping us to repair the roads which is very important in enhancing trade facilitation along the corridor,” he said.
Nnadi posited that the Lagos-Abidjan border corridor road, when repaired, will not only help Nigeria but also assist the economy of other nations trading within the corridor.
He thanked the diligent Customs officers who made the seizures possible by remaining vigilant despite the festivity of Sallah, adding that recalcitrant persons involved in smuggling will be arrested and prosecuted as some of such individuals are already under the surveillance arm of the Command.