Ogun I: ‘’We Will Keep Uncovering Antics Of Arms, Contraband Smugglers In Ogun State’’ – Compt. Shuaibu

 By Stephen Ubanna

This is not the best of times for arms and other Contraband smugglers in Ogun, home state of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. This is because of the tight security that been mounted in the state, that had been described as haven for smugglers because of the over 90 illegal routes used by the smugglers operating between Nigeria and the neighbouring Benin Republic to carry out their nefarious activities.

For years, smugglers, have been getting away with their smuggled arms into the country through the inappropriate routes in the state but the deployment of Comptroller Shuaibu Amadou Bello, to Ogun I, headquartered at Idiroko, a border Community between Nigeria and Benin, by Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR, the Customs Comptroller General, last Sepetember, appears to have put the arms smugglers under close.  Monitoring.

Cartridge seizures by Ogun I, Command

The recent seizure  of 940 rounds  of live ammunitions   ingeniously concealed  in sacks of cassava  flakes, popular, garri, in local parlance speaks volume    Given an insider information of the seizure of the Live ammunitions , Compt. Shuaibu,  had revealed that  ‘’for more than two weeks , the Command had been  on the trail  of the arms allegedly  imported  through  the Autonomous port of Benin, Cotonou,  Benin Republic, before it was  eventually smuggled into Nigeria.

The Customs Comptroller further stated that ‘’during the trail of the arms cartel, from Benin, the received Intel had  revealed  the level of surveillance   mounted and the security beef –up  by the criminal elements to beat the  Customs operatives  to it through the various  tactics that  was said to have been  employed to safeguard the items   and evade arrest.

They may have gotten wrong. This is because the Ogun I, Command, superior security network had made mockery of the smugglers’ own security beef-up as the officers involved in the operations were said to have   eventually aided the seizure   but lost the suspects who knew that  the game was up.The suspected smugglers were said to have absconded and quickly abandoned the items in a bid to evade arrest.

Compt. Shuaibu AB: Area Controller, Ogun I

The Ogun I, Area Controller may have sent a signal to the arms smugglers that there is o room for operate in Ogun state and escape when the Command under his Leadership made  a seizure of about 975 rounds of red star  live cartridges. The bags of rice where the cartridges were concealed may have been suspected because of the unusual threading and sewing of the sacks. For proper examination .This may have informed why the Customs operatives had transferred the intercepted bags of rice to the Command headquarters, at Idiroko border for proper examination to ascertain the true contents of the bags of rice.  The suspected bags of rice were said to have been hidden in a bush along the Palace /Ayetoro  road, Imeko Afon Local government Area of the south western Ogun state that could never be suspected by anybody of containing prohibited items.

But the agile officers who have eyes of deciphering Contraband were said to have stopped at spot  and evacuated the suspected bags of foreign rice to the Command Idiroko premises  without any encounter, for  thorough examination last November.

The arms smugglers should have read the lips and body language of the Ogun I, Area Controller, there would be no breather form them when he declared that ‘’the Command would not renege in its efforts in combatting smuggling activities in its entirety in the state’’.

Appealing to Nigerians to join forces with the Command anti-smuggling officers  in the fight against  smuggling of  harmful substance, light weapon,  arms and ammunition , which poses a threat to national security and have the potential of destroying lives  and properties,   he reiterated that ‘’the Command  is open to receiving  Intel  and assure prospective partners  of maximum security’’.

Ogun I, rain of contraband seizures

In a related development, the Tin can Island, which has Compt. Dera Nnadi, as the Area Controller, was said to have also impounded a cache of arms and ammunition from a yet to be identified criminal gang at the port meaning that the same importer that owned cartridges, arms and ammunitions that were seized by Ogun I and Tincan Island Commands.  Note that the arms in that were said to have been seized at the Tincan Island port include automatic single barrel rifles and pump action guns. This is in addition to military camouflage that were said to have been intercepted by the command on Friday, March 15, 2024.

Enough of arms and ammunitions that were said too have been intercepted by the two Customs Commands in one day, March 15, 2024. We turn to other Contraband that were said to have been interceped by the Ogun I, Command.   The Customs Command, according to the Area Controller also intercepted 123 sacks   and 172 parcels of cannabis sativa, popular, Indian hemp, 380 pieces of donkey skin and 910 cartons of poultry products among others. Some of these Contraband were said to have intercepted at the creeks, borderlines between Nigeria and Benin Republic and other strategic locations across Ogun state. Valuation experts had put the value of the seized Contraband at about N55, 120,828.00.

The good news was that there was here were zero casualty in the course of the dispossessing the smugglers of the multi-million naira Contraband notwithstanding steps taken by the smugglers to beat the Customs operatives to it. Describing it as a great achievement, an elated Compt. Shuaibu said   they value lives of the people and which may have informed why the Customs operatives did their best safeguard it.   He may have sent a message to the residents of the border Communities  and its environs not to see anti-smuggling and patrol team officers  bearing arms as enemies but as friends ‘’who  are there to protect their lives where and when necessary’’, noting that ‘’any threat to their lives  will not be treated with levity’’.

He was said to have sounded a note of warning to ‘’ the daredevil smugglers that their days are numbered in Ogun state as they will keep uncovering their antics, insisting that   ‘’they will never go unpunished with their nefarious activities ‘’’.

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