Customs: Gunrunners In Ogun State Run Into Hiding To Avoid Arrest By Ag .Compt. Shuaibu  

By Stephen Ubanna

Barely two weeks after Ag. Compt. Ahmadu Shuaibu, described as a workaholic in Customs circles showcased thousands of intercepted multi-million-naira bags of the Asian country of Thailand par boiled rice, 50Kg. each and the   means of Conveyance of the smuggled Contraband including some exotic vehicles and pneumatic tyres in different parts of Ogun, home state of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Customs Area Comptroller appears to have another big surprise for Nigerians.

 This time around, the Ogun I, Area Controller who have remained ‘’resolute over the last one month in promoting national security    has vowed to do everything possible in fulfilling his mandate’’ in Ogun I, idiroko.   The Command, according to the Ag.  Comptroller has, made a cache of ammunition concealed in five suspected   foreign bags of rice smuggled into the country through the creek and allegedly believed to have expired.

Giving an insider information, the Ogun I, Area Controller, had confirmed that on Monday, November 27, 2023, the Command enforcement teams, which had gone on a ‘’professional   and intelligent base operation to unravel the antics’’of the unrepentant gun runners operating between Nigeria and the neighbouring Benin Republic.  

Ag. Compt. huaibu showcase the Concealed red star cartridges in foreign bags of rice by gunrunners

In exposing the new ingenious trick that has been employed by the gun runners in the south western state, of ogun, described as’’ home of smugglers’’, because of the over 90 illegal smugglers routes in the sate,  Ag. Compt. Shuaibu and the Command the DC. Enforcement, one DC.Yusuf and his men, who were said to have been on the trail of the gun runners over the last one week  had sustained their tempo of anti-smuggling operations in the state without any sign of the Command officers and men being  everywhere  on the road.  

   The Command was said to have deployed two teams for the Imeko operations. The essence of the additional layer of enforcement operation options made to track the suspected gunrunners is to ensure that if the smugglers succeed in beating the Team A to carry out their nefarious activities, they may succeed in beating the option B, Team.

   The Ogun I, Area Controller, who could not hide his feelings had revealed that the five bags of foreign rice were suspected by the field officers to be fraudulent because of ‘’the unusual threading and sewing of the sacks’’. The Ogun I, Command may have gotten it right.

The Customs Ag .Compt. who had, who had described himself as a ‘’team player’’ and believed so much on ’’ team work’’,  was said to have urged all Officers and Men of the Ogun I,  Command’’ to work as a team and adhere strictly  adhere to the rules of engagement’’  and  equally ensure that they discharge their duties  in ’’conformity  with the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Act, 2023’’ to frustrate the smugglers.

He had  lamented that if the gunrunners operating in the state had succeeded in pushing the ammunitions into the Nigerian market , which they had concealed in the five smuggled bags of rice smuggled into the country through the creek many believe that   it may have fallen into the waiting hands of criminal elements, in the society and which may compromise  the security situation of the country .

. He had told those that cares to listen that the dire consequences of ‘’unchecked smuggling of arms and ammunitions into the country is very severe’’.  Ranging from ‘’empowerment of criminal Organisations to escalating the country’s security challenges and compromise of the national security’’.

   This may have informed why Ag. Compt. Huibu,  hadsuggested ‘’the need for concerted and ’collaborative efforts to be made by Law0abiding Nigerians to cage the smugglers. He did not stop there. He was said to have also suggested the use ‘’proactive intelligence’’.He has his every  reason to make the suggestions. This is because ‘’smuggling of arms and ammunitions’’ the world-over are’’ menace that knows no border and feeds on the vulnerability of the society’’.  

An eyewitness account had said that Ag. Compt. Shuaibu could rise up to the challenge in tackling smuggling activities in Ogun state because from the onset, has made up his mind ‘’to succeed and with a warning to the officers and men of the Command that ‘’the right thing must be done’’. The interception of the suspected five bags of rice around the Imeko axis of the state speaks volume.  

Foreign par boiled bags of rice used in concealing ammunition uncovered By Ag. Compt. Shuaibu

 To forestall the officers and men of the Ogun I, Command from carrying out their Legitimate duties, the Imeko gun runners  and their informants may have concentrated on the Ogun I, option A, patrol team, which had followed the evacuation  of the suspected bags of foreign rice from the creek to where it was hidden,  thus making the coast clear for  Team B, to move into  action without any exchange of bullet with the smugglers.

The Ogun I, Customs boss had said that they were able to ‘’thwarted evil plans of the gunrunners   from smuggling of live ammunitions into the country market because they got an intelligence that ‘’five bags of foreign rice containing live ammunitions had been carefully hidden in a bush path along Palace/Ayetoro  road  at Imeko  Afon Local Government Area of the state.

 True to the message that the informant had passed on to the Ogun I, Command Authorities, the five suspected bags of foreign rice were said to have actually been   used to conceal the killer- cartridges. This may have strengthened the resolve of the Ogun I, Ag. Compt. to insist of insisting. In carrying out the 100% physical examination, each of the 50Kg bags of par boiled was said to have been poured out on the ground to ascertain its true contents. The Customs operatives, in the full glare of other sister agencies personnel were said to have separated the cartridges and from the par boiled rice ‘and put them in a basket for proper counting.  

The Valine News learnt that when the information filtered out to the ears of Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR, over the seized ammunitions his joy knows no bound as he was said to have promised to give the Ogun I, command all the necessary support needed to sustain the tempo of anti-smuggling operations in the state.  The Video clips confirmed that about 975 rounds of red star live cartridges that were ingeniously concealed in the five foreign bags of rice.   Ogun I,

The Comptroller General’s undisclosed promise may have emboldened    Ag. Compt. Shuaibu, to give his words to do more. Already acting Compt. Shuaibu, has vowed to deal decisively with the smugglers developing new tricks on a daily basis to continuously carry out their nefarious activities in the Land border Communities in the Ogun state.

 He was said to have instructed DC. Yusuf and his officers and men in the Enforcement Unit to do everything possible ‘’to track down the perpetrators of the recent  Criminal act of bring in five bags of rice concealed with  ammunition  for them to be brought to justice’’.

It was gathered that ever since the Ogun I, Ag. Comptroller gave the matching order to the DC. Enforcement and his men to track the criminals may encouraged them to step up efforts to track down the perpetrators of the nefarious activities at Imeko who had had gone into hiding to avoid arrest by Ag. Compt. Shuaibu.

Ag.  Shuaibu, who may have shown much concern on the welfare’’ of the officers and men of the Command   was he was said’’ to have commended the gallant officers and men of the Command for their bravery in outwitting the gun runners’’.

He had told those that cares to listen that the Command could achieve the feat in less than   two months of operations in the state with the deployment Compt. Bamidele Makinde, his predecessor to Customs Headquarters. He had aid that the Comptroller General who had provided additional eight four-wheel vehicles for its anti-smuggling operations had made their job easier. This because they were afraid of taking their vehicles to the forest to tackle smuggling activities without any fear that the vehicle will breakdown on the way that may given room to smugglers to attack them.

Ammnition found in smuggled foreign par boiled rice bags by Ogun I, Command

 Indeed, the impressive performance of the Ogun I, Customs Command anti-smuggling, Command, between September 18, 2023, and now may have emboldened Ag. Shuaibu to declare that ‘’the Interventionist Unit will not renege in its efforts in combating smuggling activities in the state’’.

Appealing to well-meaning Nigerians, particular, residents of Ogun state ‘’ to collaborate with the Command with useful intelligence and information’’, he was said to have them of ‘’maximum security cover’’

 The Ogun I, Customs Compt. who was said to have put his ears on the ground to know what is happening on the state border routes may have been peeved when information filtered that most of the patrol teams which had been disbanded and merged with other existing teams have resurfaced on the road.

The Customs Ag. Compt. Who had reduced the number of the Command checkpoints on the road from 32 to  five was said to sent   out the DC. Enforcement and some other senior officers on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, to monitor what is happening on the roads and give him feed back. As at the time, The Magazine left Idiroko on Wednesday, DC.Yusuf and his other Team members were not yet back to know the outcome of their fact finding mission. Those who knew the Ag. Compt. Says those who tut of greed contravenes the Customs Ag .order will egret their action..    

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