…As Police recover additional 30 tractors looted in Adamawa***
The Seme Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it intercepted seven fairly-used vehicles, 396 bags of imported rice and 152 jerry cans of petrol during the EndSARS protest. The seizures were made along the Seme-Badagry expressway between Oct. 12 and Oct. 27.
The Command’s Spokesman, Abdullahi Hussaini highlighted this on Thursday in a statement, even as a stakeholder chided him that a period of hoodlums rummaging and scavenging for palliatives was not the best time, to flaunt or amplify seizures.
“This is definitely not the best time to amplify news of seizures, particularly those involving rice”, observed an industry watcher, who spoke on conditions of anonymity.
Hussaini said that a total of 561 items were seized within two weeks of the protest, indicating that the command’s anti-smuggling operation was fully on ground during the EndSARS.
“They are 396 bags of 50kg foreign rice, 152 x 25 Jerry cans of petrol, six 25 litres of vegetable oil and seven units of smuggled vehicles.
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“The seized items have a total Duty Paid Value (DPV) worth millions naira,” he said.
The customs spokesman described as “untrue” a media report that smugglers were having a field day along Mile 2 – Seme border road during the protest.
“The story alleged that officers of Nigeria Customs Service Seme Area Command and other Security agencies vacated Seme-Badagry road for fear of being attacked by Hoodlums and #EndSARS protesters.
“This, thereby, creating free access for smugglers to perpetuate their unpatriotic act.
“This is untrue as our anti-smuggling officers and other security operatives were fully on the ground during this period,” the customs spokesman said.
He appealed to members of the public to disregard the publication ” that was built based on a fallacy.
“This story may affect the morale of officers who, during day and night, risk their lives to protect our borders.
In another development, the Police in Adamawa said on Thursday in Yola that they have recovered additional 30 tractors, 107 bags of fertilisers, 28 hand tractors and 29 cartons of agrochemicals looted by some hoodlums who hijacked the #EndSARS protest.
The police earlier announced on Wednesday that they arrested 238 suspects from whom 35 tractors, nine vehicles, more than 600 bags of fertiliser, 50 hand tractors and hoes, and 18 bags of maize were recovered.
Police Command’s spokesperson, DSP Suleiman Nguroje, said that the additional recovery was also made possible with the cooperation of other security agencies in the state.
“The Command equally arrested four females and one male suspect, who allegedly looted public, corporate and private warehouses during the protest.
“The Commissioner of Police, Olugbenga Adeyanju, thanks the people of Adamawa, especially those who volunteered information to the police leading to the recovery of the looted items,’’ he stated.
Nguroje implored the people to continue to give such useful information and to report any suspicious persons or hoodlums to the nearest police station.