The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has exonerated its personnel of any involvement in the video circulated by a news medium (not Primetime Reporters) alleging that Customs personnel collect N5,000 from smugglers and make at least N2 million in a day at a land border in Oyo state.
Reacting to the video, the NCS through a statement issued yesterday in Abuja and signed by its Deputy National Public Relations Officer, DC Timi Bomodi stated that a careful review of the video’s content revealed crucial information which inclined the Service to completely repudiate the story in its entirety.
The statement observed that contrary to its claims, no customs personnel was sighted throughout the recording adding that customs officers are easily identified by their official uniforms, which are compulsorily worn while on duty either at approved checkpoints or patrol bases.
According the statement, “There is no evidence linking the events which played out in this video with the Nigeria Customs Service. For all we know, this video may have been unearthed from archival material predating our time as the vehicles in use indicate.
“More importantly, there was no evidence of exchange/collection of money as alluded to in the story, which makes no sense if the intention was to show that ‘officers’ were collecting money at that unknown spot.”
It noted that while the Service was ready and willing to accept reports of unprofessional conducts by its personnel with a view to dealing decisively with confirmed deviants, it went on to say that acts such as portrayed in the video from the news medium, with no useful information, but with a clear defamatory narrative was totally unacceptable and should be condemned in no uncertain terms.
It further said that at this challenging times when law enforcement agents were daily putting their lives on the line in the interest of the nation, only responsible investigative reportage should be entertained insisting that the country and her citizens were better served by a press which harnesses its energies towards spotlighting truth and not to lend itself to smear campaigns garnished with incompetence and a disingenuous disinformation agenda as conveyed by the medium.
“While the motive for this story remains unknown, we implore members of the public to disregard this video. We give assurances of our commitment to the course of nation building by remaining true to the fight against smuggling, while redoubling our efforts at revenue generation and trade facilitation”, it concluded.
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