28 May 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — THE Federal Operations Unit, (FOU) of the Nigeria Customs Service, (NCS) yesterday intercepted a total of 5, 056 cartons of drugs valued at over N242.7million.
Disclosing this to newsmen, Comptroller General of Customs, Col Hammed Ali, (Rtd) said that the drugs are under complete prohibition adding that most people take them without doctors’ prescription.
Ali also disclosed that the drugs were without the registered number of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC)
Already, two suspects namely, George Odianose Eboigbe, the owner and Mr. Clement Okoeka the driver of the truck have been arrested in connection with the offensive import.
The Customs boss explained that the agency has put three layers of defence measures in place to checkmate the influx of such offensive imports.
The drugs, Tramadol Hydrochloride according to Ali is taken by young and women to ease stress Customs explained that the drug.
He said “They are dangerous drugs, they are what our youths and mostly our women too are using to relieve their stress.
“They are not drugs meant for consumption, they are complete under prohibition but these things still find their way into the country.
“And this why we always say when people say Customs officers are disturbing them on the road, we cannot but do what we are doing.
“We have to have three layers of defence in order to accost this type of thing, otherwise, if you allow it, it will leave only the ports and border posts, a lot of these things will find their way into the country and nobody will trace.
“So we are not deliberately harassing people, we are trying to secure the society, we are trying to protect the society which is one of our mandates to make sure that our society is protected.
“I cannot imagine a Nigerian would for the sake of money decide to bring this quantity into this country.”
The retired Army Colonel also admitted that officers of the Customs service have compromised hence the clearance of the prohibited cargo.
He, however, vowed to fish the culprits and make them face the law.
“I also admit that our officers are compromising otherwise these things will not find their way here.
“So it is in realisation of this compromise of our own officers that we have to put layers of defence.
“If you compromise the first layer, you may not be able to compromise the second and third layers and that is the result of what we are seeing today.
And this is what we will continue to do until Nigerians, all of us whether Customs or no Customs begin to realize that things like these are inimical to our own progress, inimical to our own health, dangerous to the economy because things like these do not add value to the economy.” He stated.