Nigerian Customs suspend 12 officers for extortion, rape

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The Nigerian Customs Service on Tuesday suspended 12 of its officers various illegal acts.

A statement by the Customs public relations officer, Wale Adeniyi, said the suspension of the officers from the service will continue pending the outcome of an investigative panel set up by the Comptroller General, Dikko Abdullahi.

Among the officers suspended are three Assistant Superintendent of Customs who were implicated in a case of extortion from travellers.

The three officers attached to the Currency Declaration desk at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja allegedly extorted $13, 000 during an outward clearance of a passenger on Emirates Airline flight.

Two others, also Assistant Superintendents of Customs serving in Seme Command were suspended for alleged rape, an offense said to have been committed in Badagry area of Lagos.

Also, two mid-level management officers serving in the Ports and five Assistant Comptrollers of Customs serving in Tin Can Island Port were caught up in the suspension net for improper release of seizures.

Mr. Adeniyi added that five other officers, including a Deputy Comptroller serving in Apapa Port, have appeared at the investigative panel for negligence and improper examination of containers. Another six officers were made to appear before the same panel for offences ranging from hacking of passwords, falsification of academic certificates, negligence and general indiscipline, he said.

The spokesperson noted that the Comptroller General expressed regrets over the involvement of young officers in such illegal acts.

He said Mr. Abdullahi warned that the service would not tolerate such misconduct. He also said machineries for investigations in the service will be strengthened to punish erring officers.

Adding that officers operating illegal check points will be sorted out and dealt with, he acknowledged receipt of complaints from Kogi, Ondo and Edo States.

Mr. Abdullahi assured motorists that special units of his office would conduct special surveillance operation to apprehend erring officers.

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