Abducted Customs officer, family found in Cameroon
• Service PRO claims NCS is battling to effect repatriation
Events may yet end on a happy note for an Adamawa State-born Customs Inspector who was recently abducted along with his wife, five children and another relative by unknown gunmen.
The gloomy atmosphere over the victims has somewhat been lifted by claims by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) that it has established contact with the Lagos-based Customs officer, Mr. James Gadzama Pallam, who was abducted by gunmen with the seven others, including his cousin, in a village between Adamawa and Borno states, both in Nigeria’s North-East.
Service Public Relations Officer, Deputy Comptroller of Customs Wale Adeniyi, said that the abducted officer was in good condition and doing well.
The abducted Customs officer and the others had been missing without a trace after attending his brother’s wedding inMaiduguri, Borno State on April 7, 2013.
Gunmen purportedly in Police uniforms and riding a sport utility vehicle (SUV) reportedly intercepted the family around Firgi, a boundary town between Borno and Adamawa states on April 8, 2013.
While he did not say exactly where the officer was being held, Adeniyi explained that the Service was making frantic effort and arrangement to repatriate and re-unite him with his family.
In the words of the Customs spokesperson: “What I can tell you for now is that we have established contact with him and now making effort to bring him back to re-unite with his family,” he said.
Adeniyi did not explain the type of effort being made by the NCS, and if the Service was negotiating with the gunmen or involving other security agencies in the effort to the victims’ release.
The victims were reportedly found in Yaounde, Cameroon.
Pallam’s relation, who was a former Deputy Speaker, Adamawa State House of Assembly, Emmanuel Tsamdu, said that the incident had been reported to the Police in Borno State.