Traders at Itam market in Uyo metropolis have threatened to close their shops in protest over N163m worth of goods and money allegedly seized by Customs officials last week.
The traders said they gave the security agency and the federal government a seven-day ultimatum to return items seized from the market.
Speaking to newsmen in Uyo Wednesday, the chairman Board of Trustees ( BOT) of Itam market and special assistant to the chairman of Itu LGA, Mr. Godwin Ebong, said Customs officials accompanied by soldiers and DSS operatives stormed the market last Friday, carting away goods and cash from shops.
“It was on Friday night about 11 pm, one of the night guards called my line that some armed robbers were in the market. They said “robbers” broke one of the gates with their guns . When the night guards approached them, they pointed torch light on them and said “we are not for you” and invaded the market.
“They said they were on national assignment and we understood they packed goods into more than 10 vehicles. We discovered the following morning that more than 40 shops were broken into while goods including foreign rice, beans, groundnut oil and other things were missing from those shops
Nigeria Customs officials in Uyo said the operation at the market was carried out by the Office of National Security Adviser.
Operations Comptroller of Customs in Uyo, Tunku Lokoja said any explanation on the operations would be done by the office in Calabar.
“That operations was carried out at the instance of National Security Adviser and we are not under them .And I just heard it the way I am hearing from you. So, whatever they took from the operation, you have to contact Calabar, because I don’t have any information on that,” he said.