Agents panic as Customs deploys armoured tank to PTML

There was apprehension at the PTML Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday when armed officers of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, Lagos stormed the command in an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC).

Speaking to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, PTML Chapter Chairman of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Bola Adeniran said he was surprised to see armed Customs officers in an environment where clearing agents and other port users were going about their legitimate businesses.

“We don’t know the reason they are here again because on Friday they wounded one of our members and we didn’t do anything. We only asked our wounded members to go home to take care of themselves but we do not know why there men are here again fully armed,” Adeniran told our correspondent on phone.

Also speaking on the deployment of the armoured tank to the command, the PTML Chapter Public Relations Officer of ANLCA, Taofeek Ganny said: “What we saw this morning was another dimension from Customs because they came here with armoured vehicle and armed Customs officers from the Federal Operations Unit.

“Immediately I saw them, I went to see Customs PRO to ask what happened and he told us they are here only to calm situation and not to arm anyone.”

When contacted, Public Relations Officer of PTML Customs Command, Steve Okonma allayed the fears of the clearing agents saying the officers of the FOU were only on routine tour of the command.

“The officers of FOU have the mandate to move around all the commands and when they came here today, we were not fighting anyone but only to ensure that people came in to do their transaction peacefully and leave peacefully,” he stated.

He denied allegation that the FOU officers visited the terminal in an armoured personnel carrier.

“People saying the officers came with armoured vehicle is not correct because I did not see any armoured vehicle in my command, rather they came with two pick-up [vehicles] and they went to the valuation stand where they said they attacked officers. They monitored what was happening there and I was not aware that anyone was arrested and no one has come to report that they were molested,” Okonma said.

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