BY IFEYINWA OBI
Operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Anti-Smuggling Task Force on surveillance activities were ambushed by suspected smugglers at Kishi border town of Oyo State, engaged them in a battle and left them injured.
Addressing journalists in Ibadan at the weekend, Deputy Comptroller of Customs and Coordinator, Customs Headquarters Special Anti-Smuggling Task Force, Shallangwa Hassan Sule, expressed concern over the activities of smugglers along the Kishi border post.
Narrating the ordeals of his men, he said: “A group of people from the Kishi and Igbeti communities, assisted by others from Ilorin, descended on officers of the taskforce who were performing their legitimate duty at that axis. This team had for the past weeks made it very difficult for smugglers to carry out their nefarious activities, hence they resorted to violence. This is with a view to intimidating the officers from carrying out their legitimate duty. But we want to assure them that we will not and cannot be intimidated by these acts of violence. We shall continue to vigorously perform our duty and also restrain ourselves from use of arms in order to respect the sanctity of human lives.”
Shallangwa expressed appreciation to what he called the quality leadership provided by the Customs Area Comptroller of Oyo/Osun Area Command, Mr. Richard Oteri who, he said, has given the headquarters task force team the needed cooperation.
“But for those who think they can make profit through compromising our economy, health and national security, they have everything to fear because we will always track them down and bring them to justice,” he said.
Customs agents frown at attack on member
A group under the aegis of Concerned Customs Brokers, CCB, has frowned at attack on one of its members, Raymond Onyimba by a faceless body for daring to partake in the local government elections in Enugu State.
The group stressed that the alleged claim that Onyimba collected bank loan and defaulted in repay is untrue. The group in a statement signed by Osita Mbonu and made available to Vanguard, explained that the bank had falsified the interest on the loan taken by Onyimba to purchase plots of land in Egunu and therefore headed tothe law court to seek redress .
The court then got an auditor to look at the account and the actual interest on the loan was agreed on which Onyimba promptly paid, Mbonu pointed out.
Obonu noted that the attack of Onyinba is not unconnected to his decision to vie for the position of Chairmanship of Ogwu Local Government Council of Enugu State in 2009.
According to the group, “It was at this point that his political opponents, without thinking twice, went all out to undo the person of Barr. Onyimba, with a view to discrediting him and permanently damage his hard earned reputation, all in an attempt to scuttle his desire to serve his people.”
“Blackmail was orchestrated because of the pending suit instituted against the outcome of Awgu LGA elections, in the Federal High Court with suit No. FHC/EN/CS/286/2013, contesting an unlawful exclusion and in eligibility of the incumbent chairman.
“Court pronouncement in the matter Onyimba filed in court, would have put to rest the misrepresentation of facts by his opponents, but curiously and mysteriously, was delayed and out-rightly denied,” the group stated.