Compt. Uba’s One Meritorious Year At Seme

R-L, Comptroller Muhammed Garba Uba, Compt. Aliyu and ACG Kaycee Ekekezie

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formation of federal troops consisting of the army, police , Navy and air-force marched on Seme  in August after a combined drill that also include other paramilitary forces like the Civil Defense Corps. Simultaneously, the same event was also taking place along other border posts across the country. The forces, had been ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari to join the NCS to strengthen security across all international borders in the country.Security experts say the move is a change in strategy for the Buhari’s administration in five years, intended to counter various security problems facing the country.  A  ministry of defense official in Abuja  said “Other security agencies that have now taken positions along the borders include the DSS and NIA, their mission is first to check the influx of dangerous weapons and movement of terrorists within our borders,” The development has obviously altered the operations of the NCS in such a way that it no longer has the monopoly of controlling the movement of goods and persons along the border “at least for the period that the joint border operations will last,” a security analyst noted last week. It has nevertheless hamstrung the activities of some customs’ area controllers along the borders as some of them appear to have left the task to the ‘joint military operations,’ close customs watchers say. However, at the Seme Command of the NCS, one Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba will not allow himself to be relegated to the background or dwarfed by the ‘federal forces,’ whose presence at the borders, many insist have made movement of goods and persons difficult since they made their  debut few weeks ago. At the time that unusual silence have pervaded many border commands across the country, the Seme command braved the odds after Comptroller Uba directed his men to go after criminals more than ever before as they could not allow themselves to be distracted by the presence of the federal forces. His order paid off as  few days ago, some criminals had plotted to hide under the guise of ‘Abuja forces’ to bring into the country some contraband including parcels of cannabis sativa, a banned substance. Unknown to the members of the gang of smugglers, who the magazine learned were working in tandem with a gang from neighbouring Ghana, the controller had, after an intelligence report, directed his  operatives to lay an ambush.The gang of smugglers eventually fell into the trap set by Comptroller Uba and his men. Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), a member of the close watchers of the Service told the magazine of the seizure where he said “Thank God for that successful operation. Five parcels of banned drug, suspected to be cannabis sativa would have found the way to the country thus compounding the problem of use of dangerous drug and abuse among our citizens especially the youths,’ “ Ever since he was redeployed from the FOU Zone A, Ikeja exactly a year ago by the Comptroller General of NCS, Comptroller Uba has not relented in his  duty of making the nation safe from the Seme International border end.”  He noted.  In July Comptroller Uba had said that he has the mandate of the Comptroller General to run drug peddlers out of town and their illegal business ‘for the good of country.’ Smoking out smugglers wherever they are hidden “will ensure that our core mandate as directed,” by the CG “is achieved.”He made the statement while displaying to the public seized rotten cow hide also known as ‘pomo’ and other prohibited items worth N114.5m.  According to him “the holistic approach in executing the mandate of the service will lead to an all-encompassing result as revenue generation, suppression of smuggling and legitimate trade facilitation will be adequately enhanced at the Lagos-Abidjan corridor without compromising national security.”   Speaking on the issue of drug smuggling  he said “We as customs men have the patriotic duty to support the effort of the federal government to rid the nation of hard drugs in line with the directive of the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) Drug smugglers will be hunted down and fished out, There is no hiding place for smugglers at the Seme border. We have a duty to protect our economy from influx of harmful and prohibited items and we must do that tirelessly,” he added. Apart from the five parcel of cannabis sativa, other prohibited items seized in the last two weeks of last month, according to the spokesman of the command, Nuruddeen Abdulllahi are 875x50bags of Foreign parboiled rice with DPV of N15,023,750; 20 parcels of cannabis sativa with street value worth of N516,180; 535 bales of used clothes with DPV of N17,259,769; 65 cartons of poultry products with DPV of N948,333.75. Others are 269 baskets of fresh tomatoes; one basket of fresh peppers; seven sacks of cucumber and pineapples; 16 baskets of fresh okro (all perishable products coming from Benin Rep. which were earnestly auctioned off) with DPV of N367,471; 137×25 liter jerry cans of PMS with DPV of N287,700; 6x50kg of refined sugar with DPV of N147,640.50 and  12x25litres of vegetable oil with DPV of N131,625.90. The essence of the seizure Comptroller Uba stated is to “continue to send the right signal to discourage other people from indulging in the despicable act of smuggling.”

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