Sokoto\ZMF, Command:Tasks Ahead Of Compt. Omale

By Stephen Ubanna

Compt.  Musa Omale, Area controller, Sokoto/ZMF, described  as the home states of the bandits Group, turned smugglers in the north western geopolitical region  has a big task at hand: How to contain the activities of Bandits  turned smugglers terrorising the officers carrying out their Legitimate  duties and improve the Command monthly revenue generations.

Past Area Controllers of the Command and their men over the last seven years were aid to have done everything within their powers to contain the activities of the bandits turned smugglers even at the risks of their own lives to ensure that no Contraband enters or leaves the country as directed by Hameed Ali, a retired Army Colonel and Comptroller General, Nigerian Customs Service, NCS.

The Customs Comptroller General was said to have provided the Sokoto/Zamfara Command with adequate arms and ammunition, including operational vehicles to be able to enter into difficult terrains to stop the Bandits turned smugglers nefarious activities.

A resident at Illela, a border Community in Sokoto state, in a telephone conversation with The Value News disclosed that but not for the aggressiveness of the Command anti-smuggling officers in the two north western states with the support of other security agencies, the Bandits turned smugglers, who are armed with sophisticated weapons, would have turned the two states into a smugglers haven

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had on January 1, 2017, had banned the importation of vehicle and foreign rice into the country with a mandate to Ali, the Customs Comptroller General to ensure that policy is implemented to the later.  The Bandits turned smugglers in Sokoto, Zamfara,Kebbi and Katsina, the President , home state, would not allow Customs anti-smuggling officers to do their work.

The abduction of one Mahassan Lawali,  by bandits suspected to be  from the camp  of the  alleged notorious  Banditry kingpin , Ada Aleru , in Tsafe  Local government  Area  of Zamfara state  in February , 2022, bear eloquent testimony to the danger which Customs personnel  serving in Sokoto/Zamfara Command, face on a daily basis.  The bandits were said to have demanded for N10 million ransom for the officer to be released.  

I t is also on record  that on   January 2, 2022,  the bandits turned smugglers  had attacked  Customs personnel, carrying out their Legitimate duties   in Asara village in Illela, Local government  Area of Sokoto state for daring to stop their vehicle  carrying suspected smuggled goods for the usual routine stop and search  along Sokoto and Illela road.

The Sokoto/Zamfara , Command  Patrol Team officers may  not have allowed the  attack by the   bandits turned smugglers  in the two  north western geopolitical  region states  to hinder their operation as they have  continued to frustrate them.

 Take for instance,  between January 2021 and December 2021,  the Comand was said to have recorded  22 seizures  of different types of Contraband  in different parts of Sokoto and Zamfara states  with Duty Paid Value, DPV,  of N188, 583,368.00, described as a commendable feat in  Customs circles , considering the security challenges in the  two sates. Between October and November, 2022, alone,  the Command,  was said to have intercepted  640 cartons  of sexual performing drugs, an AK47, gun, three Toyota Carrina II vehicles, loaded with  132 jerrycans of Vegetable oil of 25 litres each,  85 cartons  of Tiger Head  batteries and 86 sacks  of 25Kg size Monosodium Glutamate  along the notorious Chida/Gornyo road. The Command was said to have also intercepted and seized seven sacks containing 800 pieces of cutlass, and thousands of foreign par boiled bags of rice of 50Kg each.

The Command was said to have generated N4,611,302,529.00 in 2022 as against   the sum of N2.3 billion generated and paid into the Federation Account  in 2021. Comptroller Musa, who had taken over from Compt. Abdulhamid Ma’aji, as the Sokoto/Zamfara Command new Area Controller, in the recent shake up in the service that saw the redeployment of 62 Comptrollers, both old and newly promoted, was said to have promised ‘’to sustain the tempo of the anti-smuggling war despite the security challenges in the two northern states.

Compt. Ma’aji Hands Over Leadership Of Sokoto/ZMF Command To Compt. Omale

 In handing over the Leadership of the Command to Comptroller Musa, Compt. Ma’aji, had urged the officers and men of the Command ‘’to extend to his successor the same level of support they gave to him while still at the helms of affairs, stressing that it is the only way of achieving the Comptroller General’s mandate of improved revenue generation, trade facilitation and Suppression of Smuggling.

In apparent response to Comptroller Ma’aji speech, Comptroller Musa, was said to have also promised of ‘’sustaining the legacy of surpassing the monthly revenue target that had been set by the Customs Authorities   for the Command’’.

 He may have gladdened the heart of the officers and people of the two north western states when he disclosed that the Command will continue ‘’to facilitate legitimate trade’’.   Appealing to the importers with their clearing agents, including other categories of traders ‘’to adhere to proper declaration and payment of appropriate duties’’,  he stated that it is  the  only way  to escape any harassment by his officers.

Until his elevation into the elitist rank of Comptroller and subsequent deployment by the  Customs Comptroller General, to head theSokoto/Zamfara Command,  Comptroller Omale, who is a graduate of Rivers state University of Science and Technology , now baptized Rivers state University Port Harcourt, ahas served in various Commands , across the country, including the Federal Operation Units, Zone C, Oerri,o   Imo state, where he headed the Valuation unit and Tincan Island Command , Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve centre, where he had headed a bonded terminal .

  He was said to have attended many courses both within and outside the country and that had sharpened his knowledge of the Customs interpretation of the Customs and Excise Management Act, CEMA.He was said to have won several   awards  both within and outside the service including former  Comptroller Gneral  Late Inde Abdullahi Dikko.   Notwithstanding his busy schedule in the discharge of his duties,  the Customs Comptroller, Authored the ESS To A Revolution : The Customs Service Under  the Leadership  of Dikko Inde Abdullahi,,ICS and Development in Benue state, 1976-2005. A close source disclosed that  he is currently working on another book, which title remained a closely guided secret.

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