Customs raid on market: Ogun Rep takes rice traders’ case to NASS

By Ahmed Sobiye, Abeokuta

A member of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Jimoh Ojugbele has decried the raid on the Sango- Ota garage market, Ogun State, by the Operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), and described it as unfortunate.

Ojugbele who is the member representing the Ado/Odo/Ota federal Constituency said the operational jurisdiction of the NCS is to man the land borders and other international entry or exit points but does not extend to the local markets where traders sell and keep their goods.

A week ago, the operatives of the NCS, Federal Operation Unit(FOU), Ikeja – Lagos broke into the shops of rice sellers and in the process  carted away 4,200 bags of rice and 478 kegs of vegetable oil suspected to be proceeds of smuggling.

And the rice sellers led by their Coordinator, Alhaja Wakilat Salako, during one of their protests, had also alleged that while the raid lasted, no fewer than 60 shops were broken into in the market while money totalling N6m were also stolen from some of the shops.

But on Tuesday, the All Progressives Congress(APC) House of Representatives member appealed to the traders to remain calm and be law abiding, pledging  that he would take steps towards the recovery of their seized goods.

Ojugbele who spoke when he visited the market to sympathize with them over the raid and seizure of their goods, said the mather is a national issue and pledged to bring it up at the floor of the House of Representatives for the attention of his colleague – legislators.

He said Governor Ibikunle Amosun has also taken some measures about the traders’ plights, assuring that an amicable solution would be found so that the carted bags of rice and kegs of groundnut oil are returned to them.

Earlier same yesterday, Ojugbele presented start – up capital to 200 beneficiaries – young men and women, from his constituency who acquired vocational skills in making of paints, insecticides, soap, disinfectants, deodorants and liquid detergents.

He reiterated his commitment to tackle the unemployment problems faced by youths in his constituency, facilitate federal presence through projects and industries as well as initiating and implementing programmes that would bring succour to them.


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