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Showdown As Rep Member, Dennis Idahosa  Petitions Custom CG On Alleged Extortion, Harassment

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Member, Representing Ovia Federal Constituency, in the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Dennis Idahosa, has petitioned the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) over alleged extortion and harassment of motorists and other road users by its officers at Ekiadolor along the Benin-Ore-Lagos highway, Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo.

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The copy of the petition dated August 17, 2021 and made available to newsmen by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Friday Aghedo, He said his office has been inundated with complaints arsing from the activities of these officers.

He said that their activities have made that axis of the federal highway unfriendly to road users as most times, unnecessary traffic is created.

While acknowledging the fact that activities of smugglers and importers of contraband goods nust be checked, he noted that this should not be used as an avenue to extort and harrased innocent and hard working Nigerians.

According to him, “Not only have I received calls, but I have received letters to this affect about the unwholesome activities of the officers of the NCS on this axis of the road which falls under my constituency.

“Having been inundated with the calls and letters by concern Nigerians and a fact-finding mission by my humble self, i there took the decision to personally notify your humble office sir.

“This unprofessional conduct that involves extortion and harassment of motorists by the some officers and men of the Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operation Unit (FOU), stationed at Ekiadolor, have become an embarrassment to road users.

“It has been noted that the Operatives even boast openly that they are the most callous in Nigeria and to show that their loots are huge, they are alleged to have occupied one full hotel for a long time, close to their check point.

“They lavish monies illegally obtained from Nigerian Commuters who most times have their correct Custom Papers or have brought in goods as personal effects.

“About a year ago, two young Nigerian were killed by the officers because of an angument which ensued over two bag of rice and the culprits are still yet to be brought to book.

“The high costs of goods in the South-South and the South East of Nigeria is traceable to their activibes as they extort everybody no matter how poor and how high.

“Sometimes, they impound cars and goods and resell It to themselves using cronies and agents in sham auction sates that is like well rehearsed re-enactment of a criminal conspiracy, practiced at night as they even, have civilian oollaborators, some of whom are locals.

“These personnels have tumed Ekiadotor, along the Lagos -Ore-Benin highway into a theatre of unprofessionalism, thereby bringing the Nigerian Customs Service to disrepute.

“I earnestly seek your prompt intervention in the matter by not allowing the operatives proceed with such irregularities and circumvention of law and due process.

“I appeal that you order an immediate inquiry into the alleged offences and misconduct,” he stated.

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