On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges ordered the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to return the bags of rice and money which its officials allegedly carted away recently from shops in the Oja Oba market in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The Committee condemned the act and described it as totally unacceptable.
The panel further mandated the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali, represented by his Assistant Comptroller General, Garba Mohammed, to make sure that the seized goods were given back to the said traders within two weeks.
Members of the panel were unanimous in their condemnation of the NCS, insisting that its action was a breach of the Customs Act and the Executive Order signed by former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 2007.
The legislation permits the agency only to confiscate smuggled goods, 40 kilometres radius to the border.
The Chairman of the panel, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, recalled that a similar string operation carried out by the NCS in Katsina State led to the dismissal of the officer, who led the operations.