The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said on Monday it sanctioned 20 senior officers in the past two months for various illegal acts allegedly committed during official duties.
The service Public Relations Officer, Mr Wale Adeniyi, announced this in a statement in Abuja.
He said that 9 officers were suspended from service pending the outcome of investigations on their offences.
According to him, “11 other officers were currently facing investigative panels set up by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Dikko Abdullahi.
“Five of the 11 officers, including a Deputy Comptroller serving in Apapa Port, had appeared at the investigative panel for negligence and improper examination of containers. The other six officers were made to appear before the same panel for offences ranging from hacking of passwords, falsification of academic certificates, negligence and general indiscipline.
“Also mid-level management officers serving in the ports were also affected in the recent action as five Assistant Comptrollers serving in Tin Can Island Port were among those suspended from service for improper release of seizures.
“Two others, also Assistant Superintendents serving in Seme Command were suspended for alleged rape, an offence said to have been committed in Badagry area of Lagos.’’
Adeniyi said that the Comptroller-General had expressed regrets that the involvement of young officers recently recruited into the service in various illegal acts was worrisome.
According to him, “Abdullahi had warned that the service will not tolerate such officers, noting that the machinery for investigations in the service will be strengthened to punish erring officers.
Speaking on checkpoints, Adeniyi said the service would go after officers operating illegal checkpoints in the country.
He said that the Comptroller-General had acknowledged persistent complaint that on some routes, particularly around Kogi, Ondo and Edo states.
“Abdullahi had assured motorists that special units of his office will conduct special surveillance operation to apprehend the culprits.”
He also warned that officers operating such illegal check points would be severely punished.
It will be recalled that the service had earlier suspended three Assistant Superintendent of Customs for allegedly extorting 13,000 dollars at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.
The officers allegedly extorted the money during the outward clearance of the passengers on Emirates Airline flight.
The suspension of the three officers now brings the number of those suspended by the NCS for various offences to 23 between January and March.