Nigerian Customs: Justice Delayed Should’nt be Denied – AITA

In our last edition, we published a call on the Nigeria Customs Service to in a manner and spirit of fairness and justice obey the National Assembly and return the garment material (Nigeria Textile) wrongly seized by the Federal Operations Unit (F.O.U), Kaduna State branch of the Nigeria Customs Service from Chief Festus Odeunyi three years ago or pay him of all the caused mated on him. The call was made by a Nigerian based anti-corruption NGO known as Al-Mushahid Initiative for Transparency and Accountability (AITA).
As a publishing company, we are not ignorant of the tangible progress recorded by the Nigeria Customs Service since the emergence of Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) as the Controller General. It interest us to make this call knowingly well that the CG, Customs is a man of impeccable character who’s integrity has gained the goodwill of Nigerians and beyond.
Colonel Ali’s commitment in sanitizing the service and ensuring that corruption and other irregularities within Customs is frustrated and reduced to a minimum level are visible and commendable. This bold step by the CG has no doubt revived the integrity and respect of Customs beyond expectation.
Recalled, AITA admitted that Chief Festus Odeunyi (the petitioner), a businessman who deals in Nigeria Textile gave them documents with receipts proven that he purchased textile material from a local market in Kantin-Kwari market situated in Fagge Takudu off Ibrahim Taiwo Road, Kano State sometimes in February, 2008. But the lorry carrying the goods was intercepted and impounded by the Federal Operations Unit (F.O.U) Kaduna State Branch of the Nigerian Customs Service.
“Despite intervention by the National Assembly and recommendation that the goods be released, the petitioner is yet to get his goods released to him and not paid the sum of ninety six million, four hundred and sixty thousand naira (N96, 460,000.00) worth the seized material notwithstanding several letters and efforts that have been made on his behalf in that regard.”
“Very sympathetic and noteworthy, Chief Festus Oduenyi (the petitioner) in the course of seeking justice and the release of these materials lost his wife in a motor accident while returning from Abuja to Kano; a situation that has further devastated him,” it stated.
“As an NGO, we request the spirit of mediation and mitigation made this call on the Nigeria Customs to obey the order of the National Assembly and adhere to the prayer of Chief Festus whose business dreams and activities has been paralyzed, making life to him and motherless kids unbearable by paying or returning the goods to him,” they appealed.
However, worthy of mention, AITA admitted a huge progress by Nigeria Customs in respect of the matter. According to its Legal Head, Barrister Jesse Mamza who said; “the matter currently is gaining the attentions of the officers of Nigeria Customs and the case file as I speak is on the table of the comptroller general, hoping that our client would be served with nothing but justice finally and timely.” He stated.
At this juncture, we hereby call on the Nigeria Customs under the able leadership of Col. Hammed Ali (rtd) to do the needful and cut shot the long awaited dream of Chief Festus by returning to him the garment material (Nigeria Textile) wrongly seized by the Federal Operations Unit (F.O.U), Kaduna State branch of the Nigeria Customs Service three years ago or pay him of all the caused mated on him.