“ANY WAREHOUSE FOUND WITH PROHIBITED GOODS WOULD BE DEMOLISHED”, SAYS OGUN CUSTOMS COMPTROLLER.
The Comptroller of Customs Ogun Area Command, Idi-Iriko, Ogun State, Comptroller Peter Kolo has cautioned the members of public assisting smugglers to hoard their goods, saying here after, any warehouse found with contraband goods would be demolished.
Kolo Stated it clearly that Customs is covered under the law to operate any where, even if Smugglers escaped arrest from Customs at border areas they could as well be arrested at any where, in the town or in their house, if the smuggled items are still found in thier possession.
According to him,”section 158 of Customs law permit Customs operatives to patrol anywhere in the country ,section 148 also permit them to carry out search of any ware house at any location while section 147 according to him guaranteed Customs Officers the right to search houses belonging to an individuals if suspected to be harbouring illicit and prohibited goods. ”
Comptroller Kolo said that other penalties apart from demolition include confiscation of goods and prosecution of the offender.
He said this in a continuation of his courtesy visits to Traditional rulers and stakeholders across Ogun State to seek for their support and collaboration to ensure that his administration succeed.
He quarried to know if a criminal suspect that escaped Police arrest in Ayetoro could be arrested if seen in Kaduna under the law or not, or whether such criminal has ceased to be an accused person.
He said “If such an escaped criminal could still be arrested any where in the country by the Police then, Customs have the power to arrest smugglers any where whether in the markets,on the streets or in his house.
The new Customs Controller said this during his visit to the Olu of Ilaro, the Paramount ruler of Yewa land, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle and the Alaye of Ayetoro, Oba Azeez Akinola.
Comptroller Kolo also disclosed that his Command is making necessary arrangements to host town meetings that would be attended by youths, stakeholders, Traditional Rulers, citizens of border communities and members of security outfits.
He seek for the monarchs support to educate and enlighten their subjects to stop assulting Customs Operatives saying they are working for the development of the country and not killers squad.
According to Kolo,” Customs have three mandates which is to collect revenue for the government, to suppress smuggling and to encourage legitimate businesses”. Urging Traditional Rulers to give their fatherly support to ensure that Government mandates are well carried out.
He also declared that border is still remained closed at Idiroko and Ilara Axises saying that rice, poultry products, Arms and ammunitions and dangerous drugs such as tramadol among all others remained prohibited
Responding the Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle pledged his total support urging government to do the needful in return for the citizens especially to provide employment opportunities for the teeming unemployed youth in the border towns.
“The major challenge to Customs work here is the unemployment if the youths are not well managed the Customs may not be able to perform their works effectively.
“The rate at which Machine riders otherwise known as Okada are operating now in Ilaro you will be surprised and be wondering whether this is not Ilaro town you know before. Some of them are not even the natives but those searching for how to feed themselves.
Therefore, thre is urgent need for the government intervention because an hungry man is an angry man. Olu of Ilaro stressed.
The Comptroller visited the Adogun of Iganokoto, Oba Mukaila Salako, the Eselu of Iseluland, Oba Akintunde Akinyemi, Elebute of Ebute Igbooro, Oba Adetunji Amusa Dosunmu, Onigua of Igualand, Oba Michael Adeleye Dosunmu and Alademeso of Iganalade, Oba Gabriel Olalowo.
He also paid his courtesy visit to Adele of Ijoun, Chief Alani Olaleye, the Onimeko of Imekoland, Oba Benjamin Alabi Olalekan, the Oloola of Ilara where he met with the Adele and also visited home of Baale of Alagbe Chief Joseph Iroko where his tour ended.