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Three senior officers of the Nigeria Customs Service declared wanted over the importation of 661 pump-action rifles into the country have turned themselves in. Two officers, I. Abdulahi, an assistant superintendent of customs, and Odiba Inah, with service number 133386, were declared wanted by the service on January 31 over the illegal arms importation.
A third officer, Yola Ibrahim, a chief superintendent of customs with service number 39009, was later declared wanted on February 1. An alert issued by the Deputy Comptroller General, Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection, Dan Ugo, had requested that the officers be arrested wherever they were seen and taken to the nearest customs formation.
Customs service, Monday, announced that the three officers turned themselves in, and that they were being investigated. The announcement made by Mr. Ugo didn’t say which customs formations the fugitive officers reported to and when.
Mr. Ugo said the customs was resolute in its determination to ensure that justice is served to all those involved in the arms importation. Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, had on January 30 said that the Federal Operations Unit, while on patrol, intercepted a truck with registration number BUG 265 XG conveying a 40ft container along Mile 2-Apapa Road Lagos.
The comptroller-general said the truck was immediately taken to customs premises for examination and 49 boxes containing 661 pieces of pump action rifles concealed within steel doors were revealed. Mr. Ali said the rifles were under absolute prohibition, adding that their importation was illegal. “Such deadly contravention of the law is even more unacceptable considering the fragile security situation in some parts of the country.
“Already three suspects have been arrested in connection with this illegal importation,” News Agency of Nigeria quoted the comptroller-general as saying. The arrested suspects are Oscan Okafor (an importer), Mahmud Haruna (a clearing agent), and Sadique Mustapha (accompanying the consignment to its destination). Mr. Ali said initially the consignment was said to have originated from Turkey, adding that there was a mix-up in the document which finally revealed that the consignment originated from China. He said customs officers who were involved in the clearance of the containers were in custody.
Mr. Ali said the seizure underscored the determination of the service to enforce all laws relating to import and export of goods in Nigeria.