…Carts away N378m worth of goods
Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operating Unit (FOU), Zone A Ikeja in the early hours of Wednesday raided popular Sango rice market in Ogun state.It was learnt that trucks of rice worth N378 million were carted away by NCS during the raid.
In a swift reaction, traders at the market protested the raid blocking the ever busy Lagos-Abeokuta expressway. Consequently, Lagos bound motorists had to ply the Ota road to connect the expressway at the tollgate while those travelling to Abeokuta were diverted to Ota road to link the expressway.
Our correspondent observed that the protesters set bonfires at the tollgate end to prevent motorists from passing through the access road.
The incident generated confusion in Sango area of Ado-Odo Ota local government in Ogun state as banks including Skye Bank, First Bank and Zenith Bank hurriedly shut their banking halls.
Lagos bound commuters were seen trekking long distance to board buses at the tollgate while the protest resulted in traffic gridlock for hours though security operatives were controlling traffic.
In his reaction the public relations officer NCS, FOU Zone A, Mr. Jerry Attah said the Service received a tip that contraband rice was smuggled into a ware house in Sango-Ota.
He said Customs had no choice than raid the warehouse, carting away six trucks as against 15 trucks that was alleged by the traders.
The market leader, Alhaja W Salako said ”we received a call around 12 am that some Customs officers were ransacking our shops. So, we began to call one another and got here around 1am. When we got here, the officers were shooting sporadically and we could not get to our shops. They came in with masks and took 15 trucks of rice that worth over N387 million,” she alleged.
She said that four market women have been hospitalized after their shops were looted.
When the chairman Ado Odo Ota local government area, Prince Oladele Adeniji, was contacted on the issue, he said, ” all will be settled soon as they are in talk with the Customs Service.
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