Shoe dealers accuse Customs of harassment, extortion

Customs-checkpoint

Officials of the Shoe Dealers Association (SDA), Terminus Branch, Jos, have accused Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) officials of harassment and extortion.

Chairman of the association, Hamza Sadiq Adam said he sustained injuries from the last onslaught by the Customs men.

Adam called on the Federal Government, Inspector General of Police, Comptroller-General of Customs and the National Assembly to help stop the harassment.

He said, “Customs men have been stopping us on the road as we return from Lagos to Jos. We always buy shoes, kitchen utensils, socks, handkerchiefs, belts and other things from Lagos. We buy our market at Oluwole Market on Lagos Island, which is a recognised market.

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“Anytime we go to market, we always go in a convoy of seven to 10 vehicles. In January last year, Customs officials attacked one of my members and shot him. I am even one of the victims. I am still struggling now to recover from the injury I sustained.

“We petitioned the Comptroller-General (of Customs) and the Senate through our lawyer and nothing has happened up till now. All our complaints fell on deaf ears. 

“The goods we buy are not illegal goods. We buy in bulk from Lagos factories, which are duly registered. They are not contrabands. And so, we don’t know our offence,” he said.

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Also speaking, Organising Secretary of the association, Umar Sabo Umar and Secretary, Babangida Musa, noted that they were law-abiding citizens who need security and Federal Government’s intervention on the matter.    

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