The Senate has ordered the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, to investigate alleged extortion of Nigerians engaged in legitimate business in border communities by officers of the service.
The Red Chamber also recommended the redeployment of Comptrollers of Kaduna/Katsina and Idiroko Area Commands.
The Senate’s resolutions followed deliberations on the report of its ad hoc Committee, which investigated the abuse of firearms by personnel of the federal revenue-generating agency. Senator Francis Fadahunsi, representing Osun East, presented the report for deliberation during Tuesday’s plenary session.
The Committee established that Customs officials extort money from traders and non-traders in border communities, issuing them unofficial receipts before allowing passage.
The report submitted by Senator Fadahunsi’s Committee specifically noted that extortion was widespread in Idiroko, Ogun State, and Jibia and Mai’adua in Katsina State.
The Committee’s report also demanded a reduction in the number of multiple checkpoints along the border communities and expressed concern over the misuse of firearms by Customs officers. These officers, while pursuing smugglers into towns, often shoot indiscriminately, leading to the loss of innocent lives.
The Senate unanimously resolved to ask the Federal Government to review the ban on selling petroleum products within 20 kilometres of border communities.