FOU: Acting Compt. Ejibunu Making Massive Contraband Seizures

 By Stephen Ubanna

 More facts have emerged why Kehinde Hussaini Ejibunu,, acting Compt. Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone A,  Ikeja, Lagos, has continued to make massive seizures of contraband on a monthly basis in the south west geo-political region.

Giving the coverage of  its areas of Jurisdiction which extends to the  entire  Ogun, Oyo, described as  home of  foreign parboiled rice  and fairly used vehicle smugglers, Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve cente, Ekiti, Osun and Ondo states including the Lagos ports of Apapa, Tincan Island, Port Multi-service Terminal Limited, PTML, Kirikiri Lighter Terminal, phases I and II, as well as the various bonded terminals in Lagos, gives acting Compatroller Ejibunu and his anti-smuggling officers the latitude to deal with the unrepentant smufggers with the fraudulent importers with their agents.

 Between September 10, 2021 and now, Acting Comptroller, Ejibunu and officers, appear, to have given a good account of themselves.Indeed, there is hardly a month that the Command has not made massive Contraband seizures to to showcase to the public, contrary to reports making the rounds when assumed duties on September 10, 2022, that he will not deliver on the mandate given to him by Hameed Ali, a retired Army Colonel, and Comptroller General, Nigerian Customs Service, NCS because of the smuggles’ penchant to kill, officers standing on their way.

Being an expernced field officer may have encouraged him to set up the necessary structures in place to deal with the unrepentant smugglers who take advantage of the porous borders across the south western geopolitical region to smuggle prohibited foreign rice, fairly used vehicles and other Contraband items, into the country. He was said to have also used his field experience to burst crimes per perpetuated by fraudulent importers with their agents at the ports with the connivance of their Customs Collaborators at the ports.

President Muhammadu Buhari, may have made the Command anti-smuggling operation’s drive easy with the ban on the importation of foreign rice and fairly used vehicles through the Land borders, across the country on January, 1, 2017. This may have informed why the Command, anti-smuggling officers, stationed at strategic, locations at the Land border areas and the ports environment, would not want to sight any of the prohibited items contained in the government Fiscal policy or Container duly released from any of the Lagos seaports, carrying Concealed goods without intercepting it.

The Customs acting Comptroller, who was said to have always cautioned the Heads of thev arious approved checkpoints and Patrol Team including those on Surveillance operations, to ensure that they do the right thing is done may have encouraged them to make impressive  Contrabandseizures to win the heart of the Customs Area Comptroller.

Take for instance, until his relocation to atsina Command, under the close watch of Comptroller, Chedi Wada, Mohammed Abdullahi, an Assistant Comptroller and the Command and former Head of Operations and Lagos Roving,  who was said to haveen  affected by the recent redeployment of  senior officers, was said to have taken a one month leave of absence from his new boss, Comptroller Wada, after reporting in the Command.

Recall that he had used the one month leave of absence to make impressive Contraband sieves at FOU, Zone A, to the admiration of acting Comptroller Ejibunu. The Ace anti-smuggler officer,’s Team , was said to have made a single seizure hundreds of second hand clothings, popular, ‘‘Okirika’’, in local parlance,  in an undisclosed location in the south western region.

FOU, Zone A, Seized Bags Of Foreign Rice Of 50Kg Each

It was a major Contraband seizure that was made by the Assistant Comptroller Abdullahi’s Team, yet to be beaten any other Team from the Command.  The breakdown of the Command Contraband seizures as read out to Journalists who were at his briefing on Wednesday, November 2, 2022, at its Ikeja office, include 4,724 bales of fairly used clothing,811 kegs of vegetable oil of 25 litres each, 3,116 pieces of cutlass, to 700 rolls of Cigarettes, 7,403 bags of foreign parboiled rice, equivalent of 12 trailer loads of rice of 50 Kg each,    including  nine used  vehicles. Acting Comptroller Ejibunu, had revealed that the Command also intercepted 2 X ‘‘Container40’’ but kept it as a closely guided secret, the Lagos Port Customs Command that had released the Consignment. He has put the Duty Paid Value, DPV, on the seized Contrband goods by the interventionist Command in the month of October to N671, 604,384.5.

Many believe that the Command could not pick much Containers released from the Lagos ports, which had contravened the government Fiscal policy because of the tight security at the exit gates of the Apapa and  Tincan Island,   and the two Customs Area Command enhanced  anti-smuggling operations, as the officers are making the Contraband seizures inside the port environment inside of allowing such  imports to get outside the port and fall into the waiting hands  acting Comptroller Ejibunu’s men on the road.

The Customs acting Comptroller, had said that the Command could give the south western region smugglers , operating Nigeria and Benin Republic, a battle of their life, thus forcing many of them to go underground, or quit the illegal business after losing millions of naira worth of goods, with the logistics support provided by Col. Ali, rtd, the Comptroller General.

Appealing to the unrepentant smugglers and fraudulent importers with their agents at the Lagos ports to turn a new leaf to avoid getting into trouble with him, he had made clear to the criminal elements that ”there is no hiding place for them as his men are scattered all over the border areas in the south west and the Lagos port environment”.

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