Why FOU Zone C, Dominates Anti-smuggling Operations At The South East As FOU, Zone A, Operations And Lagos Roving Team Maintain Class

By Stephen Ubanna

More facts have emerged why officers and  men of the Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone C, dominates the  anti-smuggling Operations in the south-south and south east geo-political regions in spite of the large presence of the Comptroller General  , CGC,, Strike Force, and the Joint Border Drills Operatives in  the regions.

 This is because of the Command  Operation officers knowledge of the terrain because of their many  years of  patrolling the nook and crannies  of and their deep Committement to anti-smuggling Operations in  the two regions. From Benin, Onitsha, Warri, Ikom, to Bakassi, where the various anti-smuggling Units maintain large presence presence,t Comptroller Kayode Olusemire’s men at  FOU, Zone C, have demonstrated in the last  couple of months that  they are on the ground  with the spectacular seizures  that had continued to  be made  including bullet proof vehicles.

Many had expected that with the  large presence of Babagana Munguno, a retired Army Major General, Coordinated , joint Border Drills as well as  the CGC  Strike Force personnel  at the Benin Toll gate   and the  Bypass , it would be very difficult  for   the FOU, Zone C, anti-smuggling officers  to  make any reasonable  seaizure  of Contrabands, particular, the Asian country Thai par boiled rice or vehicles smuggled into the country from Benin Republic  that had escaped the eagle eyes  of the Border Drills, CGC Strike Force or the FOU, Zone A, personnel, along the Lagos Benin  or the Ondo-Benin  roads The FOU Zone C, anti-smuggling  officers may have used their deep  understanding of the terrain and the tactics used by smugglers in the regions, particular, in  the south-south states of Edo, Delta, Cross-river and Akwa Ibom  whch they had mastered over the years to rejig their strategies to confront them and  dispossess of them of their smuggled goods.

Yahaya: DC And Acting Comptroller, FOU, Zone A

Security watchers  believe that the large  presence of the Border Drills and CGC Strike Force personnel at strategic locations  in the  two southern Nigerian  have  regions, may introduced  fear into the mindset of the smugglers  that they easily play into the waiting  hands  of the FOU, Zone  C, Patrol Team officers who are very Conversant with the various illegal routes  that could be used by  the smugglers operating  in the region.

 Last year alone, the Command according to Olusemire, the Area  Comptroller,  had seized goods and  vehicles including  detained  bullet proof which has no End User Certificate issued from the office of the National security Adviser valued at over N590 million. The seizue of such large  volume of items  was an indictment on FOU, Zone A, CGC Strike Force and The Border Drills personnel , stationed at strategic locations along the Lagos – Benin and Ondo –Benin roads.

The anti-smuggling lapses in the Operations  of the FOU Zone A, in the last couple ofs month  may have informed  why Usman Yahaya, a Deputy Comptroller , in-charge of the CG, Lagos Zonal Strike FOrce  and now acting Comptroller  of the Command, to hold a strategic meeting with the various  Heads of Units , Team and Patrol leaders   in order to review their operations  in a bid to making it,   more effective.  Yahaya, according to Jerry Atta, an Assistant Superintendent of Customs and the Command Spokesperson in a Statement, said the acting Comptroller had  used the opportunity provided by the meeting  to unveil  the mandate bestowed  on him  by the Ali led management: block   all areas of revenue leakages in the system,  intensify   anti-smuggling operations  in the south weat ge-political region  at the  various entry points which included the seaports and airports as well as ensure trade  facilitation  .

 He may have taken a cue from Olusemire, the FOU, Zone C, Comptroller , who is enjoying wide support from the people  of the areas of his jurisdiction  in the fight against smugglers  by  who give out  necessary intelligence information  that could  assist  the Command Team and Patrol leaders do their work in order  to suppress smuggling activities  in the two regions  under its control to the barest minimum.

He was said to have reminded the officers  that  his redeployment to the Command was part  of the Comptroller General ‘s  strategies to rejig the Service  for ‘’greater efficiency  and effectiveness’’ , particular, in the areas of revenue generation, trade facilitation  and suppressing smuggling’’.  The Team and Patrol leaders including the various Heads of Units may have got his message   clearly  that they  quickly moved into action to show their  loyalty.

Between Monday, January 7, 2020 and Monday,  January 14, 2020, the  various Teams including the  Command Operations and Lagos Roving , Headed by Riks Lura, a Chief Superintendent of Customs, were said to have   intercepted  2,065 , ‘’25’’ Jerry Cans of Vegetable Oil,, 1,185  bags of ‘’50’’ par boiled rice  and 1,5000 , 25 litres  Jerry Cans of diesel with a total Duty paid value of N67.3 million, which included  the duty, taxes and surcharges on such items.

The initial rumour making the rounds  was that the  eizure  of the  ‘’40’’ Container  Concealed   with the imported   processed Vegetable Oil  was master-minded by Jack Okpabi, a Chief Superintendent of Customs and Head of Operations, south west, CGC Strike Force, and Yahaya right hand man, because of his regular appearance in the Command within the first ten days of Yayaha’s resumption.

 The rumour became pronounced   because  it was one of the remarkable seizures that were made  by the Yahaya led Lagos Zonal  Strike before his redeployment to FOU, Zone A.  It is assumed that the same  informan t used  by the  Strike Force Operations Unit, led By CSC Jack may have  volunteered such information   to him to prove that he can  do the job in order to be  recalled FOU, Zone A.

 Impeccable sources told The Value News at the CGC Strike Force  that Jack has no  hand in the seizure of the ‘’40’’ Concealed with the thousands, ‘’25’’ Jerry Cans  Vegetable Oil. The source disclosed that the seizure  was made by the Command  Operations  and Lagos Roving Team Patrol Team who were said to have  been alerted by their leader based  on intelligence gathering to go after the truck laden Container which was released from an undisclosed port  and transfer it to the Command premises for re-examination.

The order was  said to have been carried out to the later  and the suspected Container transferred to the Command premises and detained, and subsequently seized after it was confirmed that it carried over 2000 25 liters  Jerry Cans, of processed Vegetable Oil, an item  which had been prohibited by the government  from being imported into the country.

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