In what seemed like a show of power on Thursday, the Nigerian Army Shopping Arena, Bolade, in the Oshodi area of Lagos State, witnessed a clash between some Nigeria customs officers and soldiers.
Business activities were disrupted, as there was tension in the market when the customs officers engaged the soldiers in a challenge. Thankfully, no casualties nor death was recorded.
The bout began when the customs officers were said to have traced six missing containers, suspected to be laden with contraband to the shopping arena, commonly called Arena Market and moved to impound them.
The customs officers were prevented from impounding the containers by the soldiers. Eyewitness reports claim the soldiers insisted that the customs officers did not have the right to impound anything in the military market.
The clash between the two security agencies which occurred in the morning may have been brutal but for the timely intervention of the Commanding Officer, 9 Brigade, who stalled the fracas by ordering his men to allow the customs officers do their job.
The spokesperson for the 81 division of the Nigerian Army, Colonel Samuel Kingsley, alleges that the customs men initially did not “follow due procedures,” adding that they were allowed to take the containers away when due process was followed.
In his words:
“There are procedures. You don’t just enter the barracks without permission. We are not a lawless society and we do not allow such things. So, when the customs got their procedures right, they were allowed in. There was no commotion.”
Confirming the incident, the Public Relations Officer, NCS, Federal Operations Unit, Ikeja, Lagos State, Jerry Attah, says that the customs seized six containers from the market, adding that the military men assisted in the arrest, and there was no clash.
According to him, the NCS has a good working relationship with the military. Based on the information, the officers trailed six 40-foot containers to the Arena Market, and contacted the Commanding Officer of the 9 Brigade, who gave them maximum cooperation and assistance.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Customs Service in Owerri, (Federal Operations Unit, FOU Zone ‘C’), on Thursday said it intercepted a truck with 11,315 cartons of imported poultry products whose Duty Paid Value (DPV) stood at N108.6 million.