By Elizabeth Chukwuma
They are regarded as anti-smuggling pace setters at Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone A and Aliyu, a former Comptroller of the Command and now acting Assistant Comptroller General, ACG, of Customs, Border Drills, sector 4, with Headquarters in Kaduna, north west geo-political region.
They are Chief Superintendents of Customs: Risks Lura, A. Ahmed and Superintendent Ajao. The trio, regarded as master of the anti-smuggling game , according to sources are the ones that had given the Command a name that is respected in Customs circles. But Ahmed and Ajao, the sourced disclosed , however, see Riks as their great teacher. They that were said to have told close associates that whatsoever tricks they have learnt at FOU, Zone A, in tackling high class smugglers in the bush was learnt from Riks.
This is evident going by the number of spectacular goods and other Prohibited items including exotic vehicles and Thai par boiled rice which had been intercepted by Ahmed and his strike Force Team over the last one year and transferred to the Command premises.
The anti-smuggling operations in the south west , comprising of Ogun, Lagos, Ekit, Ondo, Oyo and Osun states is very time consuming that officers are left with little or no time to read for their promotion examination, which had been regular in the last three years under the present Customs Management headed by Hameed Ali, a retired Army Colonel .
Note that Ahmed appears to taken advantage of the promotion guaranteed by the Ali led Management as at when due as obtained in other par-military Organisations to ensure that he never misses any of the promotions to qualify to be selected among the Candidates from his own state. He got it right.
At the last December 2018, promotion examination which was recently released, Ahmed scaled through the hurdled to be promoted to the enviable rank of a Chief Superintendent of Customs, CSC. Looking like an Army Colonel, on the day of his Decoration by Muhammed, the Area Comptroller, Ahmed beamed with smiles. He stopped at saying : to whom much is given , much is expected of him.
Ever since, he was decorated with the new rank, Ahe appears to have been spending more of his time in the bush, in the flash point smugglers states of Ogun and Oyo, pursuing the smugglers. In some of the operations, he was said to have traced the smugglers to the road before striking. This may have informed why he has made all the remarkable seizures in the recent time.
At no time an officer from the Ikeja office, would put a call to him to know where they could meet over some important issues, his response had always been: I am in the bush: I will call you when I am out of the bush.
The Value News learnt that the only time to catch the Customs CSC, at the Command premises is either on Monday , during the Command parade or Tuesday, when all the Heads of the various patrol and Surveillance Teams in the six south western states, converge at the Command Conference room to give their weekly r anti-smuggling report to the Management for approval.
Ahmed has demonstrated that notwithstanding the large presence of the Border Drills, CGC, Strike Force, and the Command Enforcement, Operations and Lagos Roving Team personnel on the road, the his Team, could still make spectacular seizures, which had always attracted the attention of the former Area Comptroller, thus putting the team on the Comptroller list of performers. The Team had joined The Risk Lura teams in receiving several Commendations letter s l from the outgoing Comptroller and souvenirs.
Note that as a Superintendent, he had intercepted a Luxury bus, with full passenger load suspected to be carrying scores of Thai par boiled rice and other prohibited items.The Bus was said to have been subjected to examination and found to have contravened the government fiscal policy. It was detained but later released after much pressure from several quarters.