By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
The Federal Unit of Zone D Bauchi of the Customs Service has said that it will not relent in the fight against the importation products no matter the threats by unscrupulous businessmen as the interest of the nation is supreme.
The Unit Public Relation Officer, Mr. Suleiman Isah who spoke of the Unit’s determination to get rid of illegal trading, saying there are a lot of legitimate trade as means of livelihood for businessmen and petty traders that will add value to their economic power.
The zone D Unit spokesman who was fielding journalists’ questions in Bauchi on the efforts of the unit to curtail illegal businesses especially on Kano – Bauchi road, urged business operators to desist from importing unauthorized products such as rice, secondhand clothes, and groundnut oil, among others into the markets.
He described as unpatriotic, some traders who undertake illegal businesses along Bauchi – Kano road, stressing that the law will not spare them, and warned officers of the unit against taking any bribe from those unscrupulous traders.
Mr. Suleiman Isah advised the traders to report to unit headquarters any officer of the service for demanded bribe from them for prompt action in line with the Controller General’s vision of ensuring corrupt free customs service in Nigeria.
Isah also described the controller general, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali retired as a revolutionary and true nationalist whose responsibilities under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari modernized and digitalized the Nigerian Customs through training and re-training of his staff which added value to the economic development of the country.
It could be recalled that on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 a patrol team of the federal operation unit zone D while patrolling along Kano – Bauchi road intercepted a green Ford Galaxy Wagon with registration No. BAU 414 ZE carrying foreign vegetable oil made in Malaysia. .
The vehicle while being conveyed to the Customs office for further investigation and examination was however waylaid at a point few kilometres to Bauchi town by a group of hoodlums, an action that culminated to the throwing of stones on the officers with some of the hoodlums carrying machetes and daggers to attack officers. .
“One of them brought out a gallon of petrol and poured it on the official vehicle of the officers threatening to burn the vehicle and take away the apprehended vehicle. They vandalized the vehicle by damaging its windscreen, window glasses, rear lights, the front lights, the amber light, depleted the front and back tyres and above all removed the official plate number of the official vehicle”.
The customs officers however exhibited a high level of professionalism in order not to shoot but suddenly one of the hoodlums struggled to disarm and collect the rifle of one of the service operative, and on seeing this an officer shot him at the leg in self-defense which incidence happened close to the Nigerian Air Force Base Bauchi and a kilometre away from the Military/Police checkpoint.
It was with the intervention of the Army, Police and Air force based on Espirit de corps that the situation was brought under control.
Meanwhile the injured person was taken to the Air force hospital through the assistance of the Air force personnel, while the impounded vehicle and its contents were secured and taken to the Customs House Bauchi.