By Eguono Odjgba
The seizure of donkey skins by the Federal Operations Unit, FOU, of the Nigeria Customs Service allegedly from the territory of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Command, MMIA, Lagos, may have ruptured the affected leadership’s espirit-de-corps following heated reported quarrel that developed out of the action.
Findings by indicate that MMIA area controller, Comptroller Janyne Shoboiki who was believed to have called her FOU counterpart, Comptroller Aliyu Mohammed on the telephone to register her displeasure over the forceful takeover and evacuation of some quantity of donkey skin within her territory, purportedly under her surveillance.
The FOU boss reportedly replied he was carrying out his duty and there was no evidence the item was within her watch or custody as at the time his men arrived, cordoned off the place and had them evacuated. The misunderstanding is also believed to have degenerated into a cold war following reported order not to allow operatives of the FOU access into the tarmac areas and sheds, in order not to jeopardize ongoing discreet investigations and surveillance.
Reacting, the FOU Public Relations Officer, Mr. Jerry Attah dismissed story of altercation between the controllers, stating that seizure was coordinated by the head quarters. “Thanks for your enquiry, there was no altercations between any controllers concerning the 42,412kg of donkey skin seized and evacuated from MMAI based on intelligence from HQ”.
It will be recalled that at the press conference the FOU boss called to showcase the seizure of police uniforms and the donkey skin last week, he spoke rather sparingly about the later, ostensibly as a result of the controversy surrounding the seizure. Feelers indicated that despite overtures allegedly made to keep the matter quiet, Ikeja proceeded to give a pigeonhole report of it to the public while withholding the details; in sharp contrast to the report on the seized police uniform.
Vanguard Maritime Report also gathered that the value of the donkey skin quoted at N7.2billion may have also been grossly overestimated for purposes of cheap propaganda.