Seven Customs officers perish in road mishap
BY EVELYN USMAN
LAGOS — SEVEN officers of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, attached to PTML, TinCan and Seme Border Commands, have been killed in a road accident at Sagamu in Ogun State on their way to NCS Headquarters in Abuja.
They were allegedly summoned by the Assistant Comptroller General, ACG, in charge of Enforcement and Drugs for an emergency meeting.
Already, colleagues of deceased officers are blaming the NCS hierarchy in Abuja for death of the officers.
It was gathered that the signal to come to Abuja for a parade by 6:30 a.m on Friday, was sent around 4 p.m on Thursday, February 21.
Vanguard gathered that the officers in a rush to meet up with the parade chartered a bus to take them to Abuja that Thursday night.
It was gathered that at Sagamu, the bus rammed into a stationary truck, killing all the occupants.
According to Vanguard’s finding, the ACG invited all officers from the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Customs, and below attached to the Examination Department to Abuja for the said parade.
Some officers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, claimed the lives of their colleagues were just wasted because what they were being invited for would have been resolved without them going to Abuja.
According to the officers, an officer in the Examination Department at TinCan Ports, sometime last month, released a container which was registered as toys but was later discovered to be contraband wine.
The officers said if the headquarters wanted to fish out the officer involved in the scam, all they needed to do was to key in their computer network all the details concerning the container and the name of the examiner would appear.
According to them, “they did not need to invite or summon all of us to Abuja over such an issue.”
Reacting to the incident and allegations, Mr Steve Okoma, a Superintendent of Customs and Public Relations Officer of PTML Command, said the headquarters had the right to summon any officer when the need arises.