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Seized 40-Container Loads Of Tramadol: USD$280, 000 Bribe Exposed

Seized 40-Container Loads Of Tramadol: USD$280, 000 Bribe Exposed

Dom Zimegapi

The Nigerian customs service has through its comptroller-General,col. Hammed Ali (retd) exposed the underground efforts being made by importers of one of the 40-container loads of Tramadol drug now seized by his men.

The Nigerian customers boss told newsmen few weeks ago that an attempt was made to induce his officers on duty with the sum of two hundred and eighty thousand united state of America Dollars – USD$280,000 equivalent of one Hundred and fifty million naira #150m as bribe money coming from the importers of one of the 40- containers of Tramadol drugs. In away of enforcing discipline in the Nigerian customs service, some officers who were indicted in the seized containers of Tramadol saga were arrested and meant to face internal investigation over their roles in the bribe saga. But has uncovered through its investigations that those staff of Nigerian customs service are now threatening the authorities to get them set free or they will expose some of their senior officers involved in the USD$280,000 (#150m) bribe for one containers of Tramadol release.

As the 40- containers full of Tramadol drugs would have earned the Nigerian Government Duty paid value DPV  of seven Billion and three Hundred million Naira #7.3Billion equivalent of USD$22.9million.   

However, a group of journalists made up of publishers and Editors under the aegis of league of maritime Editors and Publishers – LMEP in a press statement signed by its President Mr. Kingsley Anoreke and the secretary General, Mr. Francis Ugwoke , called on the comptroller General of Nigerian customs service, col. Hammed Ali (retd) to unveil the identity of the importer of the Tramadol drugs container who offered the bribe of the sum of Two Hundred and Eighty Thousand united state of America Dollars USD$ 280,000 equivalent of one Hundred and fifty million naira- #150 million. The bribe money which was meant to facilitate the release of one of the  40- containers of Tramadol drugs seized, the league insists on the exposure of the importer as it would be a way of making others who may engage into such illicit business of importing into Nigeria, drug that will ruin the lives of many Nigeria youths.  

The press statement of league of maritime Editors and publishers reads “We see no reason why the identity of the importer should be kept secret, it should be made public as a deterrent to other wishing to do the same thing in future, By exposing the culprits, such action will further check importation of such dangerous goods into the country as the importers knows the implication. It is pertinent to institute can independent inquiry into the issue of corruption in the ports and border posts involving resident customs officers in which the nation has continued to suffer billions of Naira revenue loss that go to private pockets. We also would like the CG to find out why some officers who were arrested over their indictment in the seized Tramadol have been threatening to expose other involved in the scam if not treated well”.

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The group further stated that “we want customs management to ensure that nothing happens to these officers as they could be target with their threat to expose wrong doing in the system.        

Members of the public immediately after the display of the USD$ 280’000 bribe money at Apapa Lagos, called for the disclosure of the

identity of the man who offered the bribe as it will go a long way to show that the President Muhammadu Buhari is actually fighting corruption. Meanwhile, Justice saliu of Federal High court sitting in Lagos on Wednesday 5th of December, 2018 had in his ruling ordered for destruction of 14 containers of Tramadol drugs seized at Apapa Lagos by Nigerian customs service officers. This order came sequel

to the exparte motion filed by Nigerian customs service through its lawyer, Ogunlowo Bisi as he was at the Federal High court Lagos seeking for an order to confiscating and condemning the now banned Tramadol drugs.

Justice Saidu in his ruling after listing from the submissions of the counsel as well gone through the affidavit in support of the application and the written address as well as the attached exhibits. The application is hereby granted as prayed.  reliably gathered from Court documents made available to our reporter that in the affidavit in support of motion exparte which was deposed by Assistant comptroller of customs, U. H Dabaj, he averred thatsome personnel of the Nigerian customs service had between February 24th, 2018and September 28, 2018 confiscated and intercepted the containers loads of Tramadol drugs  from smugglers. The owners of the seized Tramadol who are the consignees or importers or Agents, servants and their collaborators were said to have abandoned the containers and fled knowing the weight of the law upon the offence of their fundamental evasion of customs duty, concealment of goods or outright act of smuggling goods into Nigeria in which action they were caught but par adventure escaped from being arrested by the vigilant NCS official on duty posts for fear of being prosecuted in the law court in Nigeria.

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