The Coordinator, Joint Border Drill Operations North Central Zone, Sector 3 Ilorin, Kwara State, Comptroler Mohammed Uba Garba, has expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the synergy formed in carrying out the operations under his command.
Addressing a press briefing in Ilorin on Wednesday at the Nigeria Customs Area Command office, Ilorin, Mohammed Garba said that the joint operations involving the Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Immigration Service, DSS, NIA, Nigerian Army, Office of National Security Adviser and other security agencies has helped in the National assignment, yielding positive results by helping the service in the successful discharge of its responsibilities.
The customs boss said that the zeal and determination to implement partial closure of our Nation’s land borders as directed by Mr. President, the Joint Border Operations (JBOD) Sector 3 covering North Central States (Niger/Kwara/Kogi and Benue States) has continued to make the Zone unfavorable for Smugglers adding that this is evident in seizures recorded by the border drill operation sector 3, Ilorin, Kwara State between May this year till date during which a total of goods worth N1.2b was seized and 52 criminal suspects were arrested, awaiting prosecution.
He said: “Gentlemen of the Press, today I make bold to say that our collaboration and synergy with Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Immigration Service, DSS, NIA, Nigerian Army, Office of National Security adviser and other security agencies involved in this National assignment is yielding positive results by helping the service in the successful discharge of its responsibilities. This is evident in seizures recorded by border drill operation sector 3, Ilorin, Kwara State between May this year till date.
“Our zeal and determination to implement partial closure of our Nation’s land borders as directed by Mr. President, the Joint Border Operations (JBOD) Sector 3 covering North Central States (Niger/Kwara/Kogi and Benue States) has continued to make the Zone unfavorable for Smugglers.”
The Coordinator, Joint Border Drill Operations North Central Zone, Sector 3 stated that the quest to sustain the tempo of aiding the Federal Government Policy on Agricultural Development in the area of boosting local Rice production, the Sector has also redoubled its efforts by recording a total of Two Hundred and Seventeen (217) seizures within the periods under review.
He stated that the seized items includes 17,490 Bags of foreign par boiled Rice (equivalent to 29 trailers of 600) Bags each, 310 Kegs of Vegetable oil, 1 Locally made Pistol with a live cartridge, 944 Drums of AGO, 3,676 Jerry Cans of Petroleum Product of 25 liters each, 355 Bundles of Textile Materials and 28 Bags of foreign fertilizer.
Other items seized include 66 Cartons of different brand of Beers, 67 Units of Vehicles, 78 Motor Cycles and one Keke Napep, 15 Sacks of Used Shoes and 360 tubers of yam all totaling Duty Paid Value of 1, 207, 223, 380.00 with 53 Suspects arrested for prosecution.
He explained that between May and June, 2020, the Joint Border Drill Operations raided two warehouses in Ilorin and discovered about 674 bags of foreign rice.
Garba state how his team intercepted two Mitsubishi canter trucks with 54 drums of smuggled petrol with a duty paid value of N1.9 million with two suspects arrested in Niger state.
He also exposed how tipper carrying sand was used to conceal 140 bags of rice concealed with sand covering the contraband
Responding to questions from journalists, the Comptroller made some clarifications concerning how seized contraband items are being appropriated, saying that only competent courts declare such items as contrababd after which the National headquarters gives directives as to how such contrabands are being appropriated by auction or as may be directed.
He explained that some members of the public usually come express willingness to purchase some contraband fro his command adding that the information provided is to put a stop to people asking him for such offers, because the command has no such authority.
He however stated that the law permits the command to exhibit its discretion in disposing perishable items to avoid wastages after such items are seized from the suspected smugglers.