- Lagos automobile dealers have hit hard at the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS)
- Customs had on September 30, sealed up the dealers' shops in the state
- The auto dealers, however, accused the NCS of corruption and illegality
Following the invasion and sealing up of some shops of automobile dealers in Lagos state by the officials of Nigerian Customs Service, the dealers have fought back.
Premium Times reports that the automobile dealers have accused the agency of corruption and illegally sealing their business premises.
Legit.ng gathered that the NCS had on September 30, invaded and sealed up the shops of the dealers in Lagos without any official notice.
Speaking on Thursday, October 31, the auto dealers expressed dissatisfaction over the closure of their shops for the past one month.
The clampdown on automobile dealers across Nigeria by the NCS was to identify smuggled cars and underpaid vehicles.
“We are really suffering, for the past one month, there has been no business,” one of the businessmen shouted from the crowd.
The president of the automobile dealer’s friends association in Lagos, Morgan Ogbede, said the businessmen were tired of alleged extortion, harassment and intimidation they had suffered in the hands of customs official for several years.
He said the reasons given by the customs were that there were smuggled cars in their possession and cars whose duties were underpaid.
“Our cars are duly cleared by the Nigerian Customs, we pay duties on them. No vehicle can leave the port without being cleared, they sign their release to us,” he said.
Ogbede said the association denied all the allegations from the Customs because “almost all the members import cars through the port and no car or truck will pass through the ports without custom clearing procedures.”
The legal counsel for the association, Monday Ubani, said the action of the Customs officers was a demonstration of gross irresponsibility and unprecedented impunity and abuse of power.
“The Nigerian Customs and excise management Act gives them the power to examine, mark, seal and take account of any goods upon reasonable suspicion.
“Rather than doing the above, the Nigerian Customs sealed up the entire premises without any form of examination or inspection of papers,” Ubani said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the Nigeria Customs carried out a nationwide operation in search of vehicles smuggled through land borders.
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