Customs officials invade Ibadan market, seize trucks of “contraband” rice

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By Wisdom Deji-Folutile

The Nigeria Customs Service has invaded the Oja Oba Market in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, carting away eight truckloads of rice.

It was reported on Saturday that the customs officers invaded the market in the early hours of Saturday.

Public Relations Officer of Oyo/Osun Customs Command, Kayode Wey, when contacted, confirmed the invasion.

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According to him, the operation was carried out by Federal Operation Unit (FOU) Zone A.

He said, “It is the FOU. They are not our people. We do not know anything about it. We do not have any information on it. I am hearing it the same way you are hearing it.”

Public Relations Officer of NCS, FOU Zone A, Mr Theophilus Duniya, also confirmed the invasion.

“You are aware that the federal government imposed a ban on importation of foreign rice to encourage local production in the country. As it stands, foreign rice is a contraband, and the law empowers us. The act that established the service empowers officers 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 said.