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Customs Strike Another Ibadan Market, Cart Away Trailers of Rice

Men of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have struck again; this time, raiding the Oja Oba market in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Saturday, and carted away eight truckloads rice.

This invasion comes precisely a month after NCS invaded the Bodija market and carted away from some bags of rice.

Remember that the Senate ordered the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to probe the alleged invasion of Rice Traders’ shops by men of the Nigerian Customs, which led them to cart away of goods to the tune of N85 million.

This followed a petition from the Ibadan Foodstuff Sellers Association addressed to the Senate President through Senator Kola Balogun representing Oyo South Senatorial District.

According to the lawmaker, 3,046 bags of rice worth N79,196,000; 25kg vegetable oil numbering 14; the cash of N4,862,000; and 15kg bags of Gari were carted away by men of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) during a violent invasion of shops in the absence of traders.

Kayode Wey, the Public Relations Officer of Oyo/Osun Customs Command, who was contacted, confirmed the invasion.

But, he said that the operation was carried out by Federal Operation Unit (FOU) Zone A.

“It is the FOU. They are not our people. It is the FOU that went to the Bodija market the last time.

“It is the same FOU; we do not know anything about it. We do not have any information on it. I hear it the same way you hear it.”

Public Relations Officer of NCS, FOU Zone A, Mr Theophilus Duniya, also confirmed the invasion.

Duniya, in a telephone conversation on Saturday, noted that the customs are empowered to carry out such operation.

“Yes. Until we examine them, you are aware that the federal government imposed a ban on importing foreign rice to encourage local production in the country.

“As it stands, foreign rice is contraband, and the law empowers us; the act that established the service empowers officers to carry out such operations.

“To break into any shop or warehouse upon reasonable suspicion that prohibited goods are stored, we evacuate them. That is what happened.

“This is Federal Operation Unit Zone A in charge of South-West zone.”

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