Smugglers Face Tough Times In Katsina, Other States In North Western Region, Kill   A Customs Officer As CG Adeniyi ,Vows To Apprehend And Prosecute Them

By Stephen Ubanna

With the redeployment of Compt. Shuaibu Ahmadou Bello, from Ogun I, Idiroko Ogun State, where he had made mockery of the tactics of the criminal elements to carry out their nefarious activities   to   Operal Un operations F unit,OU, Zone B, Kaduna, the   criminal element knew that the game is up.

 The Interventionist Unit, which is the core of the Customs anti-smuggling operations, in Nigeriia, oversees the north western states of  Kaduna, Katsina, former President Muhammadu Buhari, home state, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Jigawa, Kano and the north central states of Benue, Plateau, Kwara, Niger, Kogi and Nasarawa.

Between April 17, 2024, and now, Comptroller Shuaibu and his team, appears to have sent a message to the smugglers that it is no longer going to be business as usual.  This may have emboldened the Area Controllers of Sokoto / Zamfara, Katsina, Kebbi, Kano/ Jigawa Commands, particular, which areas of jurisdiction shares boundary with Republic of Niger to wake up and deploy their officers to the strategic locations in their respective  state to clip the wings of the Bandits  turned smugglers.  The Customs Comptrollers comptrollers could do so because they have Compt. Shuaibu and his FOU, Zone B, personnel who are there to complement their anti-smuggling efforts.

 The smugglers, who sees Customs personnel as their enemies may have come to the conclusion that any person who stand on their way to frustrate them from carrying out their nefarious activities   of smuggling Contraband into the country will be lynched and killed. Their targets were the Customs personnel at the checkpoints or along the road.

, The change in FOU, Zone B, Kaduna, may have encouraged the Area Controllers and officers of the various Command in the north western and north central regions to come out smoking, forcing the smugglers who could no longer stand the officers to resort to guerilla tactics to deal with the officers.  

 The smugglers, whom, many believe have the free funds to spend may have penetrated the Youths of the border Communities in the northern states who were ready to support and harbor them to ensure the succeed in carrying out their nefarious activities for a fee.

Aware that their illegal activities may no longer thrive as expected and they could not stand the firebrand FOU, , Zone B, anti-smuggling officers around the border states with Niger Republic and the resident officers , as well ,  who are now alive to their duties to ensure that no  Contraband enters or leaves the country , may have strengthened the resolve of the smugglers  to fight back.   

Compt. Shuaibu , FOU , Zone B. and Katsina Command, Area Controller holds confidential talks

This may have informed why they lynched one Auwal Haruna, a Customs Assistant II, at the Gamji Makaho checkpoint, along the Katsina – Dakama    road in Kaita Local Council area of Katsina state on April,1,  2024, the same day that the no nonsense Compt. Shuiabu, had assumed duties at FOU, Zone B, Kaduna.

The suspected smugglers may have lynched and killed the officer attached to the Katsina Area Command, who was said to have tried to stop  a truck  allegedly carrying  Contraband items,  to send a message to the FOU, Zone B, Area Controller, that the cannot do what he did in Ogu state , south west Nigeria , in the north western region, meaning that they were ready for him and his officers.

 There are indications that the smugglers could not have succeeded in killing the lynched officer and still escaped to tin air without the backing of certain ‘’unpatriotic border  Community reidents’’, as Abdullahi Maiwada, a Chief superintendent and Customs spokesperson,  had described them,  who were believed to have supported and harboured them.

Indeed, the killer smugglers’ gang may have touched the lion’s tail, as the FOU, Zone B, Customs Area Controller, who is determined to make the north western and north central regions a safe place to do Legitimate trade and pay the appropriate duties has declared total war on the smugglers, that many of them were said to have gone underground to avoid playing into the hands of the Customs Comptroller who will not spare anyone caught in the act.

Aggrieved by the unprovoked attack on the  Katsina Command Officer carrying out his Legitimate duties  by  the killer gang smugglers may have forced   Bashir Adewale, MFR,  Customs Comptroller General, to order  Comptrollers Shuaibu and his Counterpart in Katsina Command, Muhammad Umar,and other Interventionist Units in the  north western region  to do everything within their powers to  apprehend  the criminal elements  to face the full weight of the Law as a lesson to those who  might want to engage in such actions in the future. 

The Customs Comptroller General, may have shown concern about the death of the officer that he has dispatched a powerful delegation led by Comptrollers Shuaibu of FOU, Zone B,Kaduna to the family of the deceased. Other members of the delegation include, Aminu Abubakar, Coordinator, Joint Border Patrol Team, Sector 4, and senior officers of the service.

While in the north western state, the delegation were acting on the mandate of the Customs helmsman, were said to have  visited Dikko Radda, the  governor  at the Government House, who was said to have prayed that ‘’the Almighty Allah  would grant  the deceased  ‘’Ijanna Firdaus’’ because  he died  ‘’while  protecting  the lives and properties of the citizens’’.   

The governor, was said   to have charged the security agencies in the state ‘’ to arrest the killers of the Customs officer in order to face the wrath of the Law’’. It is very important the security agencies personnel in charge of Investigation in the state to ensure that the culprits are brought to book and justice is done, he had said. 

He was said to have his expressed his Condolences to the Customs Comptroller General and his Management Team over the death of the officer in the hands of suspected smugglers in the state. ‘’On behalf of myself and the good people of Katsina state, I condoled the Comptroller General of Customs and the entire personnel of the service over the irreplaceable lost’’, he had remarked.

Gov. Radda, noted the death of the Customs officer was most unexpected because of  ‘’the engagements  between  the Nigeria Customs Service  , NCS, personnel and  residents of the Border Communities in the state which  were very Cordial and yielding positive results  hence’’ the need for its sustainability’’.

Umar, Emir of Daura, Compt. Shuaibu and others during a condolence visit of Late Haruna, an officer of Katsina Command in a pix

Compt. Shuaibu’s led delegation were said to have  also used the opportunity of being in Katsina state to Commiserate with the family of the deceased officer, to pay a  Condolence visit to Umar  Farouq –Umar , the Emir of Daura, where he  had ‘’extolled the virtues of the deceased officer’’.

Appealing to the NCS, personnel’’ to remain resolute in redeeming the enviable image of the service’’, the Emir urged the officers   ‘’to tackle smuggling and cross-border crimes in the state squarely.

Ado Rabe, Chairman,  Dutsi Local , Government Area of the state , who was said to have spoken on behalf of the deceased family , was said to have urged the  Management of the NCS, under the Leadership of Adeniyi,  ‘’to replace  the late Haruna with one  family member ‘’, stressing that’’ the entire  community has lost  a humble son  who was the only Customs officer from the area’’. The Dutsi Local Government Chairman was emphatic   that ‘’the Customs Management must consider the need for replacement of the Late Haruna with a member the Community’’.

Compt. Shuaibu and others during a condolencevisit to late Haruna’s family in Katsina state

While praying  for the repose  of the Soul of Late Haruna,   Adeniyi, the Customs Comptroller General, ably represented by Compt. Shuaibu,  was said  ‘’to have assured the late officer’s parents   and the Kayawa Community  that the NCS,  will continue   to be with them  during and after the grieving period’’.

He had said that the slain officer has joined ‘’the pantheon of great men who gave their all with honour in the service of the fatherland’’.

The Customs Comptroller General was said to have made it clear that ‘’the service in collaboration with other security and intelligence agencies, are currently working together ‘’to apprehend the perpetrators of the dastardly act and ensure that they face the full wrath of the Law’’. The Customs boss who was said to have described the killing of the officer by the suspected smugglers as unprovoked had expressed profound grief.

Compt. Shuaibu   may have spoken the mind of the Comptroller General of Customs when he declared that ‘’the attack on the Customs operatives along the Katsina-Dankama road, demonstrates the dangers faced by men and officers of the service in the line of duty on a daily basis, ‘’while saluting their heroism.  Courage, common gift and patriotism’’.

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