Heads may roll over an alleged missing container at the Tin Can Island ports Lagos. The container, which belongs to one Tony Onuora, was alleged to have developed wings after payment of the necessary duties and other charges to the Nigeria Custom Services. Lawyers to the victim stated that his client had imported some items worth several millions which were contained in the said container into the country and after meeting up with the necessary demands by the Customs service, the container was nowhere to be found.
A petition dated July 24, 2015 signed by the lawyers Chinedu Obi and Associates is asking the Inspector General of Police Solomon Arase to investigate the matter proffered against the Managing Director Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) Habib Abdulahi, Custom Area Controller, Tin Can Island one Mr Jubril Z.N., Deoly International Limited and one Ayo Durowayo of the NPA. The lawyers have appealed to the IGP for an urgent intervention to save their client from a total lost of his rightful property. According to the petition, the lawyers said their client had imported some goods, which were contained in a 1x 40 feet container marked MRKU 3257182 into the country.
“On the arrival of the container at Tin Can Island Ports, an assessment was conducted by the Nigerian Customs Service, where our client paid the necessary duties and charges on the container to the Nigeria Customs Services to the tune of N819,820 and the said container was released to our client with exit pass 082829 dated June 25, 2014. “While our client was processing the Terminal Delivery Order (TDO) with the shipping company, the said container was found missing. The search for the sudden disappearance of our client’s container was traced to the persons mentioned in this petition and the container was purportedly sold at the sum of N300,000 to Habib Abdulahi,” the petition stated. According to the lawyers the turn around of events had led to a protest letter which was sent to the Customs Area Controller (CAC) Tin Can Island port without any response and also to the Zone 2 , police Command, Onikan.
“In response to our complaint at Zone 2, the case was assigned to X-Squad section which the principal Manager operations NPA Mr Ayo Duruwayo was invited for a meeting. It was at the meeting that Duruwayo opened up to all and admitted before the investigating team that the said container was given to the Managing Director of NPA Habib Abdullahi by the customs service with fictitious name Dr Lawal Mani of no particular address at Katsina state. He equally informed all that the container was cleared by Deoly International Limited and handed over to one Taiwo for delivery. “It is our contention that the importer having paid the duties and other charges imposed by the Customs service and the institution having released the container to him, they have no other thing to do with the container than to exit it to the owner.
“Nigeria Customs Service has no power to sell a container in auction having collected their duty and other charges. We believe they cannot be allowed to benefit from the fraud. We have reasons to believe that the documents they used in stealing the said container may have been forged documents. We have reasons to believe that because the people are highly placed, they have been influencing the outcome of investigations by the officer and men of Zone 2 police command. “There is a high level of conspiracy. We humbly plead that you come to our rescue now, as this is a clear case of injustice. Our client has no confidence in the ability of the zone 2 police to do justice in this case. We urge your good office to take over this investigation as your integrity to do justice is no doubt,” the petition stated.