By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Members of the Association of Shoe Dealers Association, SDA have accused some officials of the Nigeria Customs Service of consistent harassment and extortion and called on the federal government and relevant agencies to come to their aid, investigate the claim and save them and their businesses.
The Association through its Chairman, Hamza Adam, Secretary, Babangida Musa and Organizing Secretary, Umar Umar who all narrated their experiences in the hands of the officials each time they make business trips to and fro Lagos State, appealed for urgent intervention stressing that their members are “not dealing with contraband goods.”
According to their report, “The challenge we are facing with Customs is that they are asking us to do what is illegal, we buy our goods from Lagos, and they are Nigerian goods not contraband. Anytime we go to market, we always go in a convoy, the Customs officials harass us each time, and the harassment is too much. The federal government, Inspector-General of Police, Comptroller-General of Customs and the National Assembly should come to our aid and stop this shameful act.
“Their spots are along the Ibadan Toll gate, Ikirun in Osun State and in Lokoja in Kogi State, even when we show the receipts issued to us, they would not listen to you until you part with substantial amount of money as bribe and if you grumble, they threaten to shoot us. Many of our members have died in their hands as the result of torture that is why we are crying out for help. Apart from the Customs, Police and armed robbers too are our problems”.