WANTED INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST, FISAYO SOYOMBO EXPOSES CUSTOMS MEN WHO SEIZED SMUGGLED EICE BUT TOOK THEM TO THE MARKET TO SELL INSTEAD OF TAKING THEM TO THEIR OFFICE

Good morning, @CustomsNG. In your Easter message yesterday, accompanied by a picture of Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, the Comptroller General of Customs, you described smuggling as “a criminal act that is detrimental to our national development”.

If smugglers are criminals, what then shall we call Customs officers who steal from smugglers? Senior criminals?

Just two weeks ago, a coterie of Customs officers led by Patrick Odion, the OC Operations for Ajegunle-Ilaro Road, Ogun State, broke into a house in Oja-Odan at 2 a.m. or thereabouts, carting away 155 bags of rice.

Unbeknownst to Odion and co, the owners of the rice bags detailed someone to track the movement of the loot. The discovery: not one of the 155 bags of rice ended up at the Customs office in Idi-Iroko or Ikeja! Instead, the Customs officers facilitated their sale at the Sango market for more than N9 million. For context, this is like a policeman breaking into a robber’s house to steal from the robber.

So Nigerians like to know: if smuggling is a “criminal act”, how would the NCS describe stealing from smugglers? If uncooperative smugglers often get shot by Customs, what fate should befall Odion and other Customs officers who loot smuggled goods?
‘Fisayo Soyombo

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