FOU: Anti-smuggling Pace Setters

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.

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