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Bomb scare: SSS queezes ANCLA chieftain, 33 others

By Ifeyinwa Obi
Following an allegation of threat to bomb the Port and Terminal Multi-Service Limited (PTML) Custom Command over the seizure of 21 tokunbo vehicles valued at about N30million,   while their Duty Paid Value(DPV) was about N4milion, the ANCLA Chairman of the Tincan Island port Mr. Kayode  Farinto was last week squeezed by the State Security Services (SSS) in Lagos.

CGC

However Farinto in a swift reaction denied that he threatened to bomb the port and alleged that all was a ploy by the customs to silence him.

There has been altercation between the ANCLA boss and the PTML customs over the seized vehicles since last week. The Area Comptroller of the Command, Garba Kuffi, penultimate week, ordered the seizure of  21 Tokunbo cars on the ground that their clearing documents were falsified

According to  Mr Steven Okonmah, the Public Relations Officer of the PTML Customs Command, acknowledged the seizure of the controversial vehicles which  clearing documents he claimed were ‘‘machined outside’’.

‘‘It is a clear case of false declaration. Their goods were machined  outside , verified outside and released outside and  under the CEMA, the offence  attracts outright seizure. It does not matter whether duty was paid at all or not, the consignees have circumvented the law and have consequently forfeited the vehicles to government”, Okonmah declared.

He disclosed that the Command had in the past bent backward to allow such controversial consignments to go, but said that the Command wanted to put its foot down on the current disputed transaction which he felt was becoming a constant trend among some importers.

“It is annoying that six days after the Command released about 96 vehicles with similar problems after profuse pleas from ANLCA chieftains, they wanted the Command to let go of another 21 vehicles which were machined outside.

Why is  it only Kayode Farinto that is always coming to beg for ‘machine outside’ jobs?  All others condemned the attitude of the agents but Farinto who is the Chairman of Tincan, not PTML, came here to instruct the CAC to release the vehicles. But the CAC said no and that is the beginning of the problem. Nobody can teach us our job and these vehicles would  not be released on any sentiment”, Okonmah retorted.

Okonmah berated the Tin Can ANLCA chief for what he described as mischief and his attempt to use his position to exert undue pressure on the Command.

He however alleged that Farinto issued a threat to burn down the Command if the disputed vehicles were not released.

“After his pleas were rebuffed by the CAC, he stormed out and was over-heard saying the Command will burn. Based on that, the CAC notified the headquarters because we had an information that he started calling clandestine meeting on how to attack the custom officers. We had to report to other security agencies .

Based on this, the Custom Comptroller  General Alhaji Dikko Abdullahi, instructed that those involved should be arrested, and through joint operation of Customs and Police, 33 of them were arrested. This is to prevent any ugly incident”, Okonmah said.

He declared that the battle line is now drawn between his Command  and the ANLCA chief  on whom he dared to make good his


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