The Nigeria Customs Service, North Central Zone, Sector 3, Ilorin, Kwara State, on Monday, said it has recovered a Toyota Land Cruiser jeep belonging to a House of Representatives member from Rivers State, Hon. Chidi Frank Nwiyoka, which was snatched at gunpoint in October last year in Abuja.
The customs said the vehicle, with registration number KUJ 570 MB from Abuja heading to Kaduna, was intercepted after operatives of the Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT) deployed to Suleja axis in Niger State requested for its documents from its two occupants.
Instead, they disembarked, pretending to be making a call to the owner, and ran into the bush, abandoning the vehicle.
“During a search, operatives found a complimentary card bearing details of a National Assembly member, Chidi Nwiyoka, who later said the vehicle was snatched from his driver at gunpoint around the Gwarinpa axis of Abuja, when contacted.
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“Once the customs duty is produced and confirmed to be genuine, the sector will hand over the vehicle to the police for further investigations and theft clarification,” the co-ordinator of JBPT, Olugboyega Peters, said while briefing journalists on Monday on its activities for last year.
He said the command also recorded 187 seizures with a duty-paid value of N302,590,252.
Peters said items seized during the period under review included four trailer loads of 50kg foreign parboiled rice (2,052 bags), 4,598 litres of PMS, 40 drums of 800 litres of diesel, 28 units of used vehicles, 16 units of motorcycles, 11 kegs of 25 litres vegetable oil, 102 bales of secondhand clothes, and 19 sacks of 2,166 pairs of used shoes.
Others were 427 wraps of Indian hemp, four packets of 120mg Tramadol (200 pieces each), 90 pieces of used tyres and 39 cartons of tomato paste.
He said most of the inflammable products had been auctioned to the public and the funds remitted to government coffers in line with the extant laws.
Peters said the briefing was his last having been elevated to Assistant Comptroller General of Customs (ACG).
He said the command lost an officer, Saheed Aweda, in October, after operatives were ambushed by hoodlums, adding that three other officers who sustained life-threatening injuries have recovered.