Ojaaba market traders laments Custom invasion, calls for government intervention

Segun Showunmi in Ibadan

Traders in Ojaaba market, Ibadan has lamented invasion of the market by men of Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), on Saturday, and alleged carting away about eight trucks loads of rice, claiming that those rice are contraband.

Penpushing reports that it is recalled that the alleged invasion is coming one month after customs invaded Bodija market and carted away some bags of rice, a development some of the traders described the act as wickedness, calling for the intervention of state and federal government before the issue degenerate between the traders and custom.

The report has it that, one of the victim, Mrs Sola Fasakin, who claimed her rice worth N5million was also taken away stated that she and other traders took loan from banks before they could procured the rice, adding that custom invasion will run them to debt.

“Custom came with eight trucks and loaded the rice, our shops were locked up, they came in the midnight, some people were also beaten and injured, we want government to intervene;,the woman stated.

Penpushing further reports that ,in similar vein, Mrs Shade Ogunlana, a rice trader in the market said that certain amount of money has been paid as booking fee to the custom before the rice came into the market, adding that part of money also go to government account.

“Both imported and local rice were taken away, other goods which were not even rice were also taken away, we took loan to buy all these goods, most of us are widows with no support from anybody, and we also has children in schools.

Penpushing also reports that, Public Relations Officer of Oyo/Osun Customs Command, Kayode Wey, when contacted, confirmed the invasion, saying that the operation was carried out by Federal Operation Unit (FOU) Zone A, not his command

The Public Relations Officer of Nigeria Customs Service(NCS), Federal Operation Unit(FOU) Zone A, Mr. Theophilus Duniya also confirmed the invasion, stating that the customs is empowered to carry out such operation.

Penpushing reports that Duniya noted that the federal government imposed a ban on importation of foreign rice to encourage local production in the country, adding that foreign rice is contraband and the law empowers custom to carry out such operations.

“To break into any shop or warehouse upon reasonable suspicion that prohibited goods are stored, we evacuate them. That is what happened’, he declared

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