Customs, agents @ war over ‘settlement’
There was sporadi shooting during a violent face-off between certain clearing agents and personnel of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) at the Mile 2 Annex of the Port Terminal and Multiservice Limited (PTML) facilities yesterday.
An eyewitness of the show down, told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY that the confrontation was caused by an agent who allegedly did not pay correct duty on his consignment, and, on taking documents of the consignment to the Customs Releasing Officer, was allegedly requested to pay out some amount of money to facilitate the signing of the documents for the consignment’s release.
The said agent, it was gathered, allegedly discountenanced the Releasing Officer’s alleged demands for graft, which led to a violent scuffle that resulted in the invitation of operatives of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’, Ikeja, Lagos Headquarters, by the Customs Resident Officers of the PTML Mile 2 Annex Unit.
According to the eyewitness, other clearing agents, who did not take kindly to seeing their colleague being dragged away by FOU operatives, confronted them demanding for the release of their colleague.
The Customs Public Relations Officers of the PTML Command, Chief Superintendent Steve Okonmah, when contacted by SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, confirmed report of the commotion, noting that the said agent, who he identified simply as Osifo, and accused of allegedly being notorious for doing bad clearing jobs, allegedly attacked a senior female Customs officer, an Assistant Comptroller Giwa, when she directed him to go and pay correct duty on his consignment.
Okonmah said that it was other agents, who, according to him, were not happy with the actions of their colleague, that invited operatives of the FOU to apprehend Osifo and not resident officers of the annex.
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