CUSTOMS OFFICER-NUN SEX-FOR-CARGO SAGA
NAGAFF chieftain, Aniebonam, joins affray
… Alleges Rev Sis is ‘a trader’
The Founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, has joined in affray, faulting allegations by a Reverend Sister who accused the Officer-in-Charge of Legal Unit, Tin-Can Island Port Customs Command, Chief Superintendent of Customs Ibrahim Badisha, of allegedly making sexual advances at her.
In an exclusive report last Wednesday, SHIPS & PORTS DAILY had reported that Badisha allegedly sexually harassed the Reverend Sister from the Daughters Eternal Father Mission, under threat of impounding a consignment of items for the Catholic charity of which she was processing its clearance.
Reacting to the report, Aniebonam accused the said Reverend Sister of allegedly resorting to lies and blackmail to get the already seized consignment released.
Aniebonam claimed that NAGAFF had, prior to the Reverend Sister’s claims of alleged sexual harassment against Badisha, had business dealings her concerning that particular consignment, during which, according to the NAGAFF chieftain, she allegedly made verbal utterances that cast doubts over her piousness as a woman of the cloth.
Aniebonam told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY: “I was surprised just a few days back, the Reverend Sister, in the company of another Sister and one Osita of Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders Importers and Exporters Coalition, came to me in my office, asking for a refund of fifty thousand naira they paid to a Chief Executive Officer of NAGAFF as consultancy, since they were not able to assist them in securing the container from the Customs and immediately I had to invite the particular executive officer to throw light on what really happened. The first thing that shocked me was that the Reverend Sister, rather than saying what happened, lied against the Executive Officer of NAGAFF for the reason that, as at the time she gave the fifty thousand naira, it was a consultancy money for them to assist in talking to Customs. But I was surprised when she turned the whole thing around and said that the fifty thousand naira was given to them to go and bribe Customs! Now it’s the issue of blackmail of sexual harassment again, the same lady! It’s quite surprising that a Reverend Sister can behave in that manner.”
Noting that the Reverend Sister should have gone through the appropriate procedures of clearing the items, supposedly imported for charity purpose, by “making formal application to the Minister of Transport who will give due approval of the Customs as clearly stated in the over-clause in terms of exemption in the Customs and Excise Management Act,” Aniebonam asserted that “she is basically a trader.”
Even as Badisha has remained under cover and kept mum, Aniebonam, a former Customs officer, is, however, defending the accused officer, describing him as “one of the fine officers we have in the Customs.”
Meanwhile, Customs Public Relations Officer of the Tin Can Island Port Customs Areac Command, Deputy Superintendent of Customs Chris Osunkwo, who earlier was not quite forthcoming in commenting about the issue, claiming that the Police was investigating it, may have found his voice again.
Osunkwo lately explained that the accused officer cannot single-handedly intercept a consignment as alleged by the Reverend Sister, even as he faulted claims that Badisha is at large.
“The allegation is malicious because the OC, Legal, cannot single handedly seize a container, he can only proffer information. Badisha is an OC, Legal, it just starts and ends at investigation,” Osunkwo stated.
He went on: “The officer in question is on seat, he can’t be on the run. For one reason or the other, if he is not on seat now, he may be on pass to attend to some family issues, and once you are officially allowed to, he can go. It is an allegation, it has not been proven.”
However, all efforts by SHIPS & PORTS DAILY to reach Badisha proved abortive, as his mobile phone was switched off.