FOU, Zone B, Kaduna: Compt.Wada Gives No Respite To Smugglers  

By Stephen Ubanna

There appears to be no respite for smugglers operating between Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Jigawa, Kano, Kwara, Niger, Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa and Kogi  including Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT and the West African countries of Republic of Benin  and Niger.

This is because Compt. Dalha Wada Shedi, the Area Controller , ederal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone B, overseeing the anti-smuggling operations in the 13 northern states of the Federation and the FCT, who many believe is acting out the script of Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR, the Customs Comptroller General , has taken the anti-smuggling war to the criminal elements  hideouts that it has become very difficult for them to effectively transport their smuggled  foreign parboiled rice from Oja odan axis in Ogun state into the northern states   of the Federation with ease because of the tight security that had been mounted in the Area by Comp. Shuaibu Amadou Bello, Area Controller , Ogun I, tough looking officers.

 The FOU, Zone B, Customs Comptroller, who was said to have also mobilized his anti-smuggling officers are not giving a breather to the unrepentant smugglers operating between Republic of Niger and the porous border routes of Katsina, Soko, Zamfara,   Kebbi and Jigawa states particular, in the north western region.  

Between February 1, 2024 and March 28, 2024, Compt. Wada, appears to have sent a message to the diehard smugglers, operating in the north and north center geopolitical region that they have one option to quit the illegal business or be ready to be loosing both their cargoes and money to the Federal government as his officers will not spare any smuggler caught with Contraband.

True to his words, the Customs Comptroller, who had said that that the Command operatives could make mockery of the tricks that had been adopted by the smugglers in carrying out their nefarious trade in the two northern regions because they have remained resolute  committed and vigilant in the  fight against smuggling which is very instructive.

Compt. Wada showcase Contraband seizures to the press

A tough talking Compt. Wada, had said that the Interventionist Unit   made 98 Contraband seizures of 21 different items   ranging from the Asian countries of Thailand parboiled and the Indian Agricultural parboiled rice, Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, popular, petrol, and Used shoes, including vehicles and motorcycles, that were said to have been used as means of conveyance of he seized items by the patrol team officers   in their various locations.

Given a breakdown of the Contraband intercepted by the Command in the one and half months of its operations, the FOU, Zone Customs boss disclosed that  of particular  was the seizure of  372 bags  of foreign  par boiled rice, 50Kg each. The foreign parboiled bags of rice was said to have been intercepted by the Command operatives around Border Communities state and deposited at the Kwara Area Command because of the distance of transferring to the Kaduna, the Command Headquarters.  He has given an insight of the ever new methods in concealing smuggled rice in local flour sacks to disguise the smuggled rice as flour. 

The Command was said to have also intercepted  698 bags of foreign rice of 50Kg each,  367  cartons of foreign Spaghetti, , Macaroni and Couscous, , 136 bales  of foreign second hand clothing,  715 Jerrycan of petrol of 25 litrres each, 65 Jerrycans of foreign processed Vegetable oil, 25 litres each,  12 used vehicles  four units of means of conveyance of smuggled Contraband,    nine cartons of Chakapin  Xtra, 50 mg, 425.5 cartons  of foreign milky  Creamer  milk powder,  and 36 pieces of fairly used tyres.   Also imounded by the Command within the period under review was  0 cartons of expired general goods, 400  cartons of organic fertilizer,  120 cartons of foreign EVA Soap  600  bags of Sokoto Cement used in conealing  of items O,P  and Q, among other items.

Valuation experts had put the value of the Contraband intercepted by the Command at about N7770 million which was very encouraging. 

An insider had told The Value News, that Command Patrol team Leaders and their officers, had combined   effective intelligence network in combating and exposing the activities of the smugglers, described in Customs circles as economic saboteurs.

An elated Wada, who is impressed with the effort of his officers to contain the activities of the die-hard smugglers  in the Command’s Areas of Jurisdictions had made it clear to those that cares to listen that  tha ‘’there is no amount  of trick , blackmail  or orchestrated attacks  that will  dampen their enthusiasm to  deal decisively with the smugglers’’ .

This may ave informed why he has sent a message to the unrepentant smugglers that the resort to sponsor mobs against officers carrying out their legitimate duties in their various Locations in the states or organize to stage illegal demonstrations against the Command will not discourage them from doing the right thing.       

 Appealing to the smugglers ‘’to turn a new leaf   and embrace Legitimate trade’’, or be ready to contend with his officers on the road and if caught in the act will face the full weight of the Law and the dire consequences.  The Customs Comptroller may have used opportunity provided for him to speak on the Command’s activities  over the last one month ‘’to draw the attention of  the general public   concerning  the act of altering  VIN, Chassis number , of  vehicles  by smugglers  to evade arrest  or to manipulate  the payment of duty , stressing that they are equal to the task to puncture their tactics.   

Compt. Wada , would want   the concerned Nigerians  to always examine  the VIN  on the windscreen  and on the chassis skeleton  of the vehicle  they intend buying  from  any dealer or play into the waiting  hands of his  officers on the road. According to him, ’’it is an offence  under  section 23, b,  of the Nigerian Customs and Excise Management Act, CEMA,  , 2023’’ and the offender  is liable to a fine of N2 million  or imprisonment  for a term of two years  or both’’.

Besides giving the smugglers a battle of their life, Compt.Wada, may have also shown that any officer who compromises in the course of doing his job would not be spared. The FOU, Zone B, Customs boss, was said to have set example with one Mouhammad Ahmad, an officer attached to the Mokwa-Jebba, pPatrol Team, believed to have extorted N500,000 00, from a car buyer last February .

The officer, who was arrested, was said to have been handed over the Customs Police Unit for further investigation. The officer with itching palm was said to have committed the offence along Mokwa-Jebba road in Niger, home state of Ibrahim Babangida, an Army General, rtd, and a former Nigerian military President.

 The Jigawa state born Customs Comptroller may have made a bold statement with the disciplinary action meted on the officer who was said to have been handed to Customs Police as a deterrence to others who might want to compromise while doing their legitimate duties.

An informed source told The Value News that ever since Compt.  Wada, exposed the officer and made him to face the necessary disciplinary action, other Patrol team officers are now watchful of their actions to avoid playing into the  hands of the no nonsense FOU, Zone B, Area Controller, who is not ready defend any officer who commits any unwholesome act.

A Top officer who spoke to the online Magazine disclosed that VCompt.Wada, could do that because he is  working  according to the mandate  given to him  by   Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR, the Customs Comptroller General to ensure that officers  do right thing without bringing the Command to ridicule.      

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *