Expert urges probe of operatives manning borders

 A renowned Nigerian security expert has petitioned the Presidency and the National Assembly alleging that some Nigerian Customs Service personnel and policemen stationed at the borders have become smugglers of prohibited items, especially petroleum products, drugs, rice and other grains.

President of Chukan Security Solutions Limited based in Cotonou, Benin Republic, Mazi Ukachukwu C. Kanu, alleged that certain Customs Service officials and some policemen have openly enriched themselves through smuggling activities while also helping and protecting big-time smugglers to bring prohibited items into the country.

Ukachukwu Kanu said  Chukan Security Solutions undercover agents made a harvest of numerous illegal activities by top officials of the Nigeria Customs Service who engage in smuggling in Benin Republic and are ready to present them as evidence against the officials.

He called for thorough probe of the activities of the customs personnel and a more constant rotation of those sent to man the borders to prevent them from misusing their offices and being influenced by corrupt local businessmen who are involved in illegal activities.

“This ugly situation has been going on there unchecked for a long time now. Below are the evidence to prove that the Comptrollers of Customs at the Area Command engaged in aiding and abetting smuggling and are helping big time smugglers who operate both at the sea routes and land borders.

“I am a warehouse keeping agent in Cotonou, Benin Republic. I live within an area which serves as take-off point for smugglers who want to enter Nigeria. At Seme Customs Area Command in particular, the Comptroller has five special groups of big-time smugglers who operate in his name.

“If the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs sets-up a panel to investigate this report, I will come forward to expose all the criminal activities and lapses at Seme Area Command and Idiroko Customs Area Command, in Ogun state.

“Every week, more than 10,000 bags of rice, including several bales of unknown items suspected to be hard drugs, are smuggled into Lagos, Nigeria through the sea route unchecked.

“Few months ago, one Inspector Jimoh from Ijanikan Police Station brought two trailer loads of assorted bales of goods to my ware-house and later loaded the items into two big wooden boats and smuggled them to Ikare Sea Beach, Lagos.”

Continuing, he stated that “Mr. Okauru Morris used the Marine Customs boat and escorted the loaded boats from Seme Border to Ikare sea beach, Lagos state. The bales were trans-loaded into many smaller boats on the lagoon.”