FOU:  Smugglers Operating In Katsina State & Other North Western States Cry Out Over The Return Of Compt. Wada

By Stephen Ubanna

Smugglers operating between the north western states of Kaduna, Katsina, home state of former President Muhammadu Buhari, Sokoto, Zamfara   and Kebbi, particular, and the neighbouring Republic of Niger, have never had had it so bad with the Federation Unit, FOU, Zone B, Kaduna, personnel in, anti-smuggling operations.

The north western states – based smugglers may have had a field day under Compt. Musa Ibrahim Jalo, the past Area Controller of the Command until the bubble burst.  Compt. Jalo, who was said to have been arrested by operatives of the Department of state Service, DSS and subsequently handed over to the Economic and Financial Crime and Commission, EFCC, under the Leadership of Ola Olukyede , over his alleged involvement   in arms deal . The arrest of the FOU, Zone B, Area Controller was said to have created a Leadership vacuum in the Command.

An insider source had had revealed that Compt. Jalo, who has become a bad advertisement to the service and who could no longer be retained by Bahir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR, led his Management Team may have given them an opportunity to replace him to further renew and stengthen anti-smuggling operations in the region.

Given the sensitivity of the FOU, Zone B, in the service anti-smuggling operations in the north western states of Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Kano and Jigawa, may have informed why the no nonsense athletic-built Customs Comptroller General has no option but to deploy Dalha Sheldi Wada, who was a- one- time Area Controller Katsina Command and made smugglers to cry out.

 .  Compt. Wada, a former Katsina Command Area Controller, who had the mandate of Hameed Ali, a retired Army Colonel and immediate past Comptroller General to root out the smugglers from the state did not hesitate in doing so.  Indeed, some of the power-brokers in the state who were said to have made their money through smuggling of fairly used vehicles and other Contraband, including the Asian country of Thailand parboiled rice were said to have piled up pressure on the retired Army Colonel and Customs helms to redeploy  Compt. Wada from the state but failed.

Ali , who may have bowed to pressure to redeploy Compt. Wada from Katsina Command to PortHarcourt Area I, in Rivers state, may have  given the  smugglers room to continue their nefarious activites in the state. In full scale. A source informed   the Value News that fairly used vehicles were regularly smuggled into the Nigerian market through the inappropriate Katsina  routes including other  item that had been prohibited by the Nigerian government . This is Compt. Musa Nurudeen, his successor has no answer to them.

It was therefore not very surprising that when information filtered out that the erstwhile Katsina Command Area Controller, who was posted to PortHarcourt Area I, Command, in Rivers’ state, to replace the embattled Compt. Jalo, smugglers operating in the entire north western region that they were in trouble.

 Their reason was that  if he  could effectively police the over 1,400 Kilometres   Land border areas with Niger Republic, which Buhari, the former Nigerian  President had said ‘’only God   could effectively supervise’’  and now that that he has more areas of coverage  coupled with the backing of the Customs Comptroller General  who was said to have  deployed more   officers  including provision of more operational vehicles  to the Command,  smugglers operating between the border states in the region and Niger Republic  in  the region are in for more troubles.

True to the worry of the Katsina smugglers that Compt. Wada has come to continue from where he had stopped in the state and possibly extend the same anti-smuggling skills to other states in combating smuggling activities in the region to prove that he has all that it takes to smoke out the smugglers from their hideouts and cause them more financial pains and loses.

In piloting the affairs of the FOU, Zone B, Kaduna, anti-smuggling operations in the last five weeks, Compt. Wada has made a bold statement that smugglers operating in the north western has to abandon their illegitimate trade and embrace genuine trade or be prepared to continue experience financial   loses in the north western region, noting that it is not going to be business as usual.  

The FOU, Zine B, under the Leadership of Compt. Wada, was said to have made spectacular Contraband seizures within five weeks of operations in different parts of the region. Looking back at his anti-smuggling operations in Katsina state and what he had been able to achieve in less than two months of overseeing the affairs of the FOU, Zone B, Kaduna, which has the same responsibility as FOU, Zone A, Ikeja Lagos, under the close watch of Ag. Compt. Kehinde Hussain -Ejibuno and FOU, Zone C, Owerri, which has another Ag. Compt. Olukayode Kolade , overseeing anti-smuggling operations  in eleven states of the Federation, may have encouraged  Compt. Wada to do more and make the region too hot fro the cross border smugglers.  

The FOU, Zone B, under the Leadership of Compt. Wda, was said to have made to have made 264 Contraband seizures   of 21 different items   ranging from military Jak knives, matchets, fairly used vehicles foreign par boiled rice and their means Conveyance in different locations in seven states that make up the north western region.  Valuation experts had said the Contraband seizures by the FOU, Zone B, was worth N 2, 888,460.68.

Giving an insider information of the Command anti-smuggling records which appears to have wiped out the unimpressive records of the embattled Compt. Jalo in the Command, Compt. Wada, had said on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, that he had ensured that the officers do the right without compromising on their job, 

Compt. Wada showcase seized exotic vehicles

This is in addition to the interception and seizure of 3,316 bags of par boiled rice   of 25 Kg and 50 Kg each, imported for the Niger Republic market through the neighbouring West African country of Benin Republic, port, but which developed wings on the road and finally fall into the waiting hands of the FOU, Zone personnel, who were aid to be strategically positioned in the states.

The Command was said to have also made a seizure of 292 jerry cans of  foreign processed Vegetable Oil,  2,131 cartons  of spaghetti, macaroni and couscous including  a truck  laden  with hundreds of Jerrycans of  Premium Motor Spirit, popular, petrol , 25 litres each  and several other items.

An elated Compt. Wada, was said to have attributed the impressive performance of the Command in five weeks to its intelligence gathering and aggressive anti-smuggling drive laced with the improved strategies of operation   that had made mockery of the new tactics adopted by the smugglers to beat Customs personnel it.

Compt. Wada may have used the opportunity of his first interaction with Journalists in Kaduna state since assumption of duties to speak on the closure of all Land borders Areas with Niger Republic at the instance of the Leadership of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS and being implemented by the Service.

Compt. Wada, had made it clear to those that cares to listen that the Interventionist Unit will ensure the full Compliance to the Comptroller General ‘s mandate over the border closure which is still in force.  The Customs Comptroller, was said to have promised ‘’to leverage   on the policy thrust of the Customs Comptroller General in’’ implementing its operational processes aimed at achieving optimal results’’.

The good news was that the FOU, Zone B, Customs Comptroller, recognised the roles being played by the Nigerian military, Nigeria Police Force, NPF, Nigerian Dug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA and all other sister agencies in the Command anti-smuggling Operations and ready to work with them..

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