Customs:Seme Command Destroys Over N168 million Worth Of Court Condemned Seized Expired Medicament and Other Items

By Stephen Ubanna

For  weeks , there  had been rumours making the rounds that  Shedi Wada, acting Comptroller, Seme Command and his Management Team with the Aapproval of  hameed Ali, a retired   Army Colonel and Comptroller General, Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, has concluded arrangement to  destroy  the  Condemned  expired   medicament  and other items  by the court.

 The rumour became  pronounced  when  the Contractor   handling the digging of the pit   for the destruction of the seized   items  mobilised on site with his  Caterpillar and started work. Eye-witness account disclosed that   the  Seme  acting Comptroller,  who  sometimes disguises himself, to lead  a patrol Team was  always on ground to monitor the level  of work done.

 Many believe that he had the  time of  frequenting   the  site  because of the closeness to his official residence. Perhaps, when he became  convinced that  the Contractor has done  a reasonable  work  and that  he  could  not  fail to deliver as promised on or before  the Wednesday,  June 17, 2020,  set for the destruction of the Condemned  expired medicaments and other items, he was  encouraged  to send out invitation letter   to  Heads of other security agencies personnel at Seme including  Chairmen of the Badagry  East, West and North Local government  areas  to witness  the destruction of the   Curt Condemned   expired  item s intercepted by the Command  and certified by National Agency for Food And Drug Administration, NAFDAC, for Destruction.  

Shedi Wada: Acting Comptroller, Seme Command

 The Value News cited   the Commanding Officer, Nigeria  Air Force, Forward Operation Base, Owode and the Chairman,  Badagry East  , Local government Area, including Some Traditional Rulers  and Baales  from the  Owode Akpa  axis  at the destruction site.   The Magazine also  cited the   Representative of  the Director  General of NAFDAC,  Comptroller, Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, and the NIS, Comptroller, Border Patrol  including  the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Seme.

Given  the tight  security at the destruction site,  the  expired items  which had been  loaded into a  Customs truck  and brought to the sit awaiting for orders  from Wada,  the  Seme  Customs Comptroller  for the casual  labourers   who had been  engaged  to do the evacuation were given the green light  .  . The Command  senior  officers  and other security agencies personnel  were on  ground  to  monitor the removal of the items from the truck and thrown into the pit.   

Wada, the Customs Comptroller  had listed  a total of  127  expired items , valued at about N168,383,511.00 for destruction. The expired items ranged from  medicaments  of different brands,Surps, Viju drink, waste   animal hair,  Diapers,  Hydrogen peroxide solution, Nylon monofilament, Hydrocortizole injection, Apetamine syrup, refine sugar, including brown sugar.

 The  cartons of the banned Phamarceutical  drug, Tramadol, that were said to have destroyed  along -side  the other items were said to have been  seized from the smugglers on the Wednesday that had been  set for the destryction of the expired items  in one of the Command Operations.

An  insider told The Magazine that these  seized Condemned   expired items could have  been destroyed before  now but it  had  to be Certified by NAFDAC  which delayed it . It was not urprising  why  the   Seme Customs   boss  could boldly welcome his invited  quests to  witness  the destruction exercise on the appointed date.

‘’It is  my pleasure to welcome  you   to  witness the destruction  of this  seized  expired goods ‘’, he remarked.  He noted  that the Customs  Commitment  to  get   the country rid  of the illicit activities  of smugglers  who engage in smuggling  illicit  drugs, and other Contraband items  remain unshakable.  He was said to have  assured  the  public that  the Command , under his close watch  ‘’remain absolute and determined  to reduce the  menace  to the barest minimum’’.

 This should embolden the Command Patrol Teams  to  step up  their anti-smuggling Operations.  The involvement by other agencies personnel in supporting the Customs anti-smuggling speaks volume. Only recently,  the  Civil Defense personnel were said to have intercepted a  barge load of  150,000 Jerry cans of 25 litres each  of  Premium Motor Spirit, PMS,  popular, Petrol.

 The Civil Defense personnel  seizure  may have leaked out to  Jack Okpabi, a Chief Superintendent  of Customs, and  Head of the Federal Operations  Unit, FOU, Zone A, Ikeja, Gbaji  Checkpoint. He was said to have mobolised  his men were said to the adagry  Creek,  regarded in Customs  circles as point of  no return  to  take over  control of the  smuggled Jerry cans of petrol.

  A Civil Defense officer involved in the Operation  disclosed  that initially  they were not ready to handover  the  intercepted  Jerrycans  of petrol the FOU Team as demanded .   The  situation  was  so tense at the site  that Jack , was said to have called for reinforcement from Seme Command.

It was gathered  that  Wada, the Seme  Command Area Comptroller , did not hesitate  in sending  a    reinforcement Team ,  to save the situation from degenerating. The Civil  Defense  reason, according to a source   for refusing to hand it over to the  Jack’s  led FOU,Team  was  because of  their  insistence that the seized Jerrycans of petrol should be dropped at the nearest Command, whch is Seme.

But  the FOU Zone A, Team leader  who was not ready to  bow  to such pressure to let  the Seme Command   take Credit for the seizure  had  insisted on taking it  to  the Command premises   at Ikeja, for  documentation, as the Command promised  to give the extract copies of the received items  to the Civil Defense and the  Seme  Command Authorities.

As at press time both  the Civil  Defense and the  Seme Command  Authorities  disclosed that they  have  not  been given the extract copies of the  seized 150, Jerry cans of petrol  from the Badagry Creek of no return. A Civil defense  operative  who spoke to the Magazine  on condition of anonymity  said they are  still awaiting for  Usman Yahaya, the Command,  acting Customs Comptroller, to keep to his promise of giving  them their  extract copies of the seized thousands Jerry cans of 25 litres each of petrol.

A  Badary Youth who was  at the scene of the incident, where the 150,000  of  25 litres each of petrol were intercepted by the Civil Defense  described Jack, who led  the FOU, Zone A, as a dogged  fighter , who appear to be working according to the mandate giving  to him by Yahaya, the Command Area Comptroller as he insited on taking the seized Jerry Cans of petrol to the FOU, Zone A, premises  notwithstanding  the pressure  from  the Seme Command  with the backing of the Civil Defense who made the seizure  to take it over.

Wada, the Seme Customs Comptroller could  beat his chest  that there is no input of the Border Drill , sector 1, CGC  Strike Force or FOU, Zone A,  Ikeja, input  in  Command controlled Government  warehouse , despite the Customs  and Excise Management Act, CEMA,  that says  that all seized Contraband  by any Customs Patrol Team must be deposited  at the nearest  Customs Command.

This may have informed why Wada, the Seme  Command , acting Comptroller, may have   pushed to take over  control of the 150,000  25 litres each of petrol  intercepted by the  Civil Defense  personnel at the Badagry  point of no return.  .

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