No fewer than 86 drones seized by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja over lack of End-User Certificates have been handed over to the Nigerian Navy.
Daily Trust reports that the End-User Certificate, issued by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), is part of the requirements for purchasing and importing drones as well as other security items into the country.
Presenting the drones formally to the Nigerian Navy, the Comptroller General, NCS, Col. Hamid Ali (Rtd), said the drones were intercepted and seized from the importers because they lacked requisite documents for back-up.
Ali, who was represented by the Comptroller, NCS, Federal Capital Territory Command, Suleiman Bomoi, said the Service secured court forfeiture for the items before they are being handed over to the Nigerian Navy.
He said, “The drones are among the things that require the End-User Certificate being issued by the National Security Adviser (NSA). So failure to have the end user certificate, we have to intercept the drones, seize the drones and condemn it and this is exactly what we did.
“We intercepted it from Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and we seized it, and we went to a high court to get the condemnation order.
“So at this point, I’m directed by the Comptroller General of Customs, Col Hamid Ali (Rtd), to hand over 86 pieces of drones to the Nigerian Navy as part of the cooperation and synergy among the security agencies.”
The Chief of Training and Operations Naval Headquarters, Rear Admiral Solomon Agada, who received the drones on behalf of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, said they would be used appropriately in the service to the nation.
He said the gesture was part of the ongoing collaboration within the services towards ensuring peaceful Nigeria.
He said, “I’m here on behalf of the Nigerian Navy to receive these drones. As earlier highlighted, 86 drones seized by the Nigeria Customs and forfeited to the federal government which have been transferred to the Nigerian Navy.
“I’m here to receive them on behalf of the Nigerian Navy and I can assure you that these drones will be used appropriately in the service to the Nigerian Navy and the nation at large.
“I also on behalf of the Chief of Naval staff extend the appreciation of the Nigerian Navy to the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service because this is done as part of the collaboration within the various security agencies in the country and that will continue to be in place as we work together to ensure security of our fatherland”.