Nigeria Customs Department and Nigeria Police have clashed over some illegal bomb making equipment imported into the country and seized last week Friday by the customs.
Sources said just after the seizure, port’s police stormed the venue to take possession of some of the explosives, a move that angered the customs who sought the return of the items.
Police Commander in charge of TCIP, Mr. Ahmed Z. Daura had ordered his men to move some cartons of the explosives to unknown destination without the knowledge of Customs Comptroller Edike.
The policemen were however asked to return the items for proper investigation, an instruction which they (police) held in contempt and were reluctant to obey.
The matter was however settled as Comptroller Edike intervened and resolved the impasse.
He said normal procedure would be followed and part of the bomb parcels would be transferred to the appropriate investigation department of the police arm, especially the anti-bomb squad, while the remaining ones would be transferred to the Exhibit Room as waste
The standoff came as Nigerian Customs and excise Department disclosed a large haul of bomb making materials seized in Tin Can Island Ports, one of the country’s top International ports.
The explosives were packed into a 40-foot container. Customs claimed the seizure was a major landmark in their recent fight against importation of bombs into the country.
The large haul came barely few months after a special surveillance force was inaugurated to man the nation’s ports and borders in the event of recent spate of bombings.
The Customs Area Controller at the port, Ekpowei Edike told journalists after conducting them round the site of the dangerous goods, they were concealed in the 40 foot container with other items and declared by the importer as toys and rechargeable lanterns but none of the items declared were found in the container.
“As a result of the reinvigoration of the Customs intelligence by the Comptroller General of Customs, this seizure is coming three days after the Comptroller General inaugurated the new Customs Intelligence Unit. It is an indication that the CGC was not merely boasting when he said that he has covered all the entry points into the county, both the border stations and the ports and that nobody can bring in any dangerous item into the county with being intercepted by the customs,” he stated.
The container laden with dangerous items was seized at Five Star Logistic Terminal after Customs officials had kept surveillance on the container which arrived the port few weeks ago from China. Its serial number is KK FU7662007.
Mr. Edike disclosed that the shipment was intercepted following a 100 per cent physical examination conducted by his officers.
He said the quantity is frightening and the methods adopted in its concealment paints a horrendous picture of how dangerous the items were.
The Customs chief assured Nigerians that investigations are ongoing and that those that were involved in the illegal business would not go free.
He also commended Customs officers and men of the command who spent days and nights on the field in making the seizure a success. He promised that more efforts would be made to stem the tide of bombs importation into the country.