2019 Elections: Customs intercepts police uniforms, tear gas

2019 Elections: Customs intercepts police uniforms, tear gas
Controller, Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Mohammed Aliyu (middle) showing journalists some of the seized police uniforms intercepted by the unit in Lagos on Wednesday.

With just 10 days to the 2019 general elections, the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)  has intercepted bales of police uniform, tear gas canisters and other paraphernalia of the Nigeria Police Force.

Addressing journalists at the units headquarters in Lagos, on Wednesday, Controller of the Unit, Comptroller Muhammed Aliyu said the uniforms which were concealed in a Toyota Sienna space bus was intercepted while heading out of Lagos.

He said a suspect has been arrested the in connection with the seizure.

According to him, the uniforms constitute threat to national security as it is destined to get to the wrong hands.

He added that ranks, belts, berets and police badges with identity cards were part of the seizures.

He said, “The seizure is a threat to national security because the uniform can be used for kidnapping, Boko Haram or elections. But generally, it threatens natonal security.

“The uniforms were intercepted along the road on the highway and what we know is that it was caught on Lagos road enroute another State. The seizure is of great concern because it concerns the national security. The quantity is not the concern but the havoc it will cause. For instance, one bundle of this uniform can accommodate about ten persons and Nigerians will complain about atrocities of Police not knowing they are not real police but impostors.

“We have the ranks of sergents, inspector, the belt and the badges on the ranks. you can see that the identity cards have no name on them. They are only printed and later they will be affixed with any names they want to put on it.”

Speaking further on the seizure, he said, “It was not only the identity cards and the ranks that were intercepted but also cutlass. What will a supposed police officer do with cutlass? Have you ever seen a genuine policeman with cutlass? These are part of the atrocities they will use the uniform to commit.”

Aliyu assured that the Service would continue to ensure that such offensive goods are not allowed into the country.

He however warned those involved in the unwholesome practice to stop because the Service will always be a step ahead of them.

“I am telling those who are into this unwholesome practice to stop it and the ones they have in stock they should destroy it because we are coming for them,” he said.

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