Amidst complaints by traders of alleged unbridled extortionate tendencies at the numerous checkpoints mounted by various uniformed and non-uniformed persons along the Badagry Expressway, Customs Area Controller, Seme Border Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (CAC), Comptroller Abdu Saleh Othman, has said that only three checkpoints, namely Tarmac at Seme Border Station, as well as along the expressway at Gbaji and Agbara have his approval to operate.
However, it was gathered that no fewer than 16 checkpoints dot the route.
Speaking at a recent stakeholders forum held at Seme, Othman maintained that personnel under his command do not have permission to mount any illegal roadblocks.
Represented by Deputy Comptroller Victor Enape, who is Office-in-Charge of Special Duties at the Seme Border Command, Othman stated that the roadblocks are mounted by some youths who claimed to be working for the traditional rulers in the community.
“I want to tell you that Customs has only three checkpoints between Seme and Lagos. But if you go out here, there is a smuggling route from the border, of which each traditional rulers have their boys wearing funny uniforms and mounting road blocks and they are there stopping people and extorting money from them,” the CAC said.
He assured that a security meeting with the traditional rulers will be held to find a lasting solution to the illegal roadblocks, which, according to him, has been a challenge facing the command.
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