Importer seek N200m restitution from Customs over alleged looting of containers

An importer, Messrs Elopetx Resources Limited has petitioned the Comptroller-General (CG) of Customs, Dikko Abdulahi over alleged looting of three of her fully loaded containers containing glass beer mugs at the Ikorodu Lighter Terminal, Ikorodu, Lagos State.

The importer who petitioned the CG through her lawyer, Barr Okwudili Alagbu was however seeking N200m for restitution for the containers looted while undergoing overtime clearance at the lighter terminal.

Okwudili said his client was holding the Customs responsible because the containers were still under the control and supervision of the Ikorodu Customs when the looting was perpetuated.

According to the petitioner, the container numbers of the three 40 feet looted containers filled with glass mug were, TRLU8190033, TCLU5464240 and TGHU8550660.

Alagbu also disclosed that his client’s cargo had already been released at Tin Can Island Port by Customs but while it was running around to pay the demurrage of the shipping company, it was transferred to Ikorodu Terminal as overtime cargo.

He stated that he was sure that the containers were transferred to Ikorodu Terminal with all the goods intact but was allegedly looted at Ikorodu Terminal.

“At about last week of February, information got to our client that some quantities of her goods which are unique brand have been sighted in the market.

“At this juncture, our client made straight to Ikorodu Command and requested that the containers which had at all material times been on the stack be dropped for inspection which request was obliged.

“On the opening of the containers, our client was able to confirm that all three containers were virtually empty thus confirming her age long fears that there was something sinister about the unusual insistence as well as the unusual delay in confirmation of Customs duty payment on these containers,” Alagbu said.

Alagbu who stated in the petition that there was round the clock security at the Ikorodu Terminal said he was surprised how the goods could be looted.

“The containers arrived Ikorodu from Tin Can Island with the contents intact with the containers re-examined by Customs and the goods therein confirmed to be intact.

“So, how did the supposed ‘outsider thief’ manage to bring down the three containers from the stacks apparently with the use of cranes, brake in and steal their contents, and also, lock and return the near empty containers to the stack without being caught?” he asked.

When contacted for response, the Customs Public Relations Officer of the Ikorodu Command, Oloyede Ahmed said the Customs Area Controller of the Command would address the issue.

He said, “We are aware of the issue and my CAC will address the issue.”



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