Seme: Compt. Jibo Frustrates VIP Petrol Smugglers

By Stephen Ubanna

Not many p are surprised at the efforts being made by Comptroller Bello Mohammed Jibo, Area Controller, Seme Command to contain the activities of VIPpetrol smugglers who are trying to turn Seme land border and Badagari axis, watersides and creeks as a safe haven for smuggling of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, popular, petrol, from Nigeria to Benin Republic over the last two years.

  The Seme Command Customs Comptroller may have been emboldened to do so because he had served in the Area in the past as a senior officer and a member of the Management Team where he attends meeting where decisions are taken on how to deal with the petrol smugglers without compromise.

It was therefore not very surprising that when he was redeployed from Bauchi-Gombe Command, in 2020, to Seme Command, he knew that one of the problems that would be addressed squarely by the new Management Team of Seme Command under his close watch would be to make Same jurisdictions a no go area for petrol smugglers.

  He may have got an answer to it  with the appointment of Abubakar Dankingari, an Assistant Comptroller,  who was said to have led various patrol Teams in the Command in the past as a Chief Superintendent of Cusoms, where he was to have given the foreign parboiled rice and vehicle smugglers tough time, that many of them were forced to go underground or relocated to Ogun state where there are over 140 border routes between Nigeria and the neighbouring Benin Republic to carry out their nefarious activities.

AC. Dankingari, who has the support of the Seme Customs Area Controller, and his officers may have adopted the same strategy used in dealing with the foreign rice and vehicle smugglers in combing the bushes along the Seme Jurisdictions toeffectively monitor what is happening  at  the filling stations around the Seme and Badagry axis  to ensure that products meant for sale at the filling stations were diverted to the watersides and creeks along the Seme and Badary axis to be smuggled to Benin Republic.

  Indeed, from the onset, AC. Dankigari and his officers, knew that they have no reason to fail in their new assignment but to make nonsense of VIP petrol smugglers, who may want to take advantage of the fact that Seme land border is a one –route land border to resort to the use of the watersides and creeks that dotted the border community and Badagry axis  to carry out their nefarious activities.

AC.Dankingari And his officers , may have sent a sent message to the VIP, petrol smugglers that it is no longer  going to be business as usual when they made the first seizure of hundreds  of Jerry Cans , of 30 litres, each, of Petrol in December 2020.

Informed sources told The Value News that the AC.Dankingari and his team members may be making a head way in making mockery of the VIP, petrol smugglers, who may have broken into the ranks of the security agencies at the Seme border Community in the past because they have made  contacts in the border communities who are ready to volunteer information  to them about these economic saboteurs at any time.

 Acting on such credible informations, the AC Dankingari led Operation team never missed their targets. It was not surprising why the VIP petrol smugglers have continued to lose their smuggled petrol products without any exchange of bullet or loss of life. 

  Barely two months after the Team, intercepted, 3,998, jerry cans of petrol, 30 litres each, equivalent of four  Tanker loadof petrol  or 119,940 litres of petrol with a Duty Paid Value of   N28,924 million , along one of the water ways in Badagry axis, the Team has made another mouth watery sum of sacks and Jerry cans of Petro.

Sacks Of Petrol Intercepted Along Bushes In Seme And Badagry By Operations Team Officers

Given an insider information,  Supt. Hussain, the Seme Command , spokesman, in a Statement , revealed that the products  which were 319 sacks and 1,500 Jerry cans  of PMS,  of 30 litres each,  equivalent of 75,000 litres,   worth  about N20 million were intercepted  along the bushes within Badagry and Seme axis.

.He had said that the petrol products   were intercepted in early hours of Thursday, September 22, 2022 and transferred to the command without any resistance. The Seme Command image maker may have spoken the mind of the Command Area Comptroller when he declared that ‘’there is no hiding place for the petrol smugglers because of the tight security that has been mounted by the operation at all suspected routes that are used by the VIP petrol smugglers.

An elated Comptroller Jibo, had said that the seizure of the hundreds of Jerry cans of petrol of 30 litres each from the VIP smugglers was in continuation of ‘’the Command efforts to suppress  the smuggling  of petroleum products  within the nooks and crannies  of Seme jurisdiction and Badagry axis’’.

Jerry cans Of Petrol Intercepted By Seme Command, Last Thursday

Appealing to the perpetrators  of these illegal activities to stay off  Seme  jurisdictions and Badagry axis  watersides , creeks and other porous routes,  he warned that as long as they are not ready to turn a new leaf  they would continue ‘‘to count heir loses in millions of naira which may  have been borrowed from the bank to finance the business’’.

Recall that in January, 2022,  the Seme Command  operations Team , had interceted  3,050, jerry cans of 30 litres each of Petrol, equivalent of 30,150 litres of petrol but the Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone A, Ikeja, LAagos,  team, which had participated in the operations were said to evacuated N1,500 jerry cans of the petrol products to their premises, leaving the Seme Command with N2,000 jerry cans of the product.

 Last April,  the Command ha intercepted  1,300 jerry cans  of 30 litres each of petrol products, equivalent of 39,000 litres of petrol with a Duty Paid Value, DPV, of N12.4 million along the Seme and Badagry axis.. The Command was said to have also intercepted 1,865 Jerry cans of petrol valued at about 5.6 million.

 The question on the lips of most people was: Whether the VIP petrol smugglers would continue in the illicit trade if  Pthe Katsina born Nigerian President goes ahead to  with the removal of petrol subsidy, which is expected to take effect in June 2023, which is expected to be implemented by the next government. Your guess is as good as mine.

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