FOU: Why Acting Compt. Ejibunu Is Dealing Ruthlessly With Smugglers

 By Stephen Ubanna

 More facts have emerged  why Hussain Kehinde Ejibunu, acting Comptroller , Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone A, Ikeja, Lagos, and his anti-smuggling officers are dealing decisively with smugglers operating between the neighbouring West African country of Benin Republic and the south western states of Ogun , Oyo, Osun, and Ekiti.

This is because of his passion for the job to add value to Customs oOperations and inspirations from Hameed Ali, a retired Army Colonel and Comptroller General, Nigerian Customs Service, NCS. Given that Ali, the Customs Comptroller General, had had handed over the FOU, Zone A, to the Kogi state born, Deputy Comptroller of Customs on trust may have informed why he was said to have  succeeded in blocking all illegal routes used by smugglers in the south western geopolitical region.

Indeed,President Muhammadu Buhari, ban on the importation of foreign rice and vehicles, through the land border, may have strengthened the Acting Customs Comptroller,  resolve to ensure  that foreign rice, vehicles or other prohibited items   imported through the Autonomous port of Benin, Cotonou, Bollore port, the two ports in the neighbouring  West African country  and other ports in the Sub-region do not enter into the Nigerian market.  Smugglers who said to have tried to beat the FOU, Zone A, checkpoint and Patrol officers, to it would never forget their experience in a hurry.

This is evident as the two Government Warehouses and the Mechanical  Workshop , used by the Command checkpoint, Surveillance and Patrol Team officers, to keep seized Contraband goods ranging from Foreign rice, Vegetable Oil, Second hand Clothing , fairly used tyres, among others  are always filled to the brim.

GWH, Ikeja, filled With Foreign Rice To The Brim

 Ali, the Customs Comptroller General may have been impressed, with theanti-smuggling efforts of the FOU, Zone A, Area Controller and his officers,that he was said to have built another Warehouse to add to the existing two and the Mechanical Workshop, that could no longer accommodate all the seized Contraband including foreign rice by the Command on a daily basis.

 An insider informed the Value News that the FOU, Zone A, Customs Acting Comptroller, signs dozens of files of condemned seized items by the Court virtually on a daily basis, meaning that even the third Government Warehouse that had been built for the use of the Command by the Customs boss may still not be enough to accommodate all the seized Contraband of the Command on a monthly basis.

Many believe that for not for the regular evacuation of the seized foreign rice to the Internally Displaced people, IDP’s’ Camps, across the country, particular, to the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, ravaged states of Borno, Yobe, where to keep the intercepted Contraband would have been a problem in the Command.

The recent incident at Ijoga Orile, around the Idiroko axis in Ogun, home state of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, bear eloquent testimony to the aggressive anti-smuggling drive of Acting Compt.Ejibunu and his Officers.

On Tuesday, November 8, 2022,  acting on a verified information, that smugglers have resorted to stockpiling foreign rice in their houses, may have given the Command the ammunition to raid the Ijoga-Orile Community. 

The Magazine learnt that one shaku Manga, an Assistant Compt., AC, who was redeployed from the Customs Headquarters last October to the Interventionist Unit to replace AC. Abdullahi, the Command former Head of Operations and Lagos Roving who was said to have been affected by the massive senior Officers redeployment had led the operations. Many had expected him to fail because his name does not ring bell in FOUs, across the country.

The FOU, Zone A, Team members who had raided the Ijoga Orile Community were said to have moved from room to room in suspected houses to bring out all the stockpiled foreign rice. The Team members were said to have carted away over 200 bags of rice of 50Kg each which were said to haven loaded in their operational vehicles and transferred to their Command, amidst tight security.

 The FOU, Zone, Team was said targeted 5000 bags of rice of foreign rice based on information volunteered by the informant. A source told The Magazine that AC. Manga and his officers, could have hit the target both not for the sabotage of moles in the Border Drills  who were said to have given out information about the planned raid to the people. The fallout was not that the smugglers relocated much of the smuggled foreign rice to other locations.   

The Magazine had watched the video of the FOU,   Zone A, Operations and Logos Roving Officers raid of the Ogun Community. Note that AC. Manga led Team had successfully evacuated the seized bags of foreig rice of 50Kg each  from the Ijoga Orile village without any gun shot, showing that he knows much about the Rules of Engagement.

  Perhaps, angered by the Acting Compt. Ejibunu’s officers’ operations may have forced the smugglers to mobilize the Youths, who were armed with dangerous weapons and machets, to invade the Command checkpoints around the Ijoga Orile Community an Idiroko axis. An eyewitness account disclosed that the aggrieved Youths and their smugglers’ sponsors, had vandalized the Officers’ vehicles and were to ready to kill.

It was gathered that both not for the fact that some Officers took two of the Operational vehicles one of the checkpoints attacked it would have been vandalized or possibly set ablaze by the aggrieved youths. 

It could not be ascertained whether Ejibunu, the FOU, Zone A, acting Comptroller, who was said to be in touch with the AC. Managa led Team that went out  for the Operations ad reported the incident that took place at a Customs checkpoint around the Ijoga Orile axis to the paramount Ruler of the Community or not.

 The attack of the FOU, Zone A, checkpoint, where Officers vehicles were vandalized around the Ijoga-Orile axis, may have strengthened the resolve of the Customs Acting Compt., to take the anti-smuggling war to the smugglers’ hideout and suspected houses, believed to have been used to stockpiled smuggled foreign rice to cart it away. +++

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