Ex-Customs Boss Dikko Escapes EFCC Arrest

Ex-Customs Boss Dikko Escapes EFCC Arrest

Some operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and policemen yesterday raided the Abuja residence of the immediate past Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Abdullahi Inde Dikko.

The raid was said to be in connection with the ongoing probe of the tenure of Dikko who retired from service on August 3, 2015.

But Dikko and his wife were said to be away from Abuja as at the time of the invasion.

The agents, however, met Dikko’s children at home and they allowed the operatives unhindered access to the house which is located on 6, Ahmed Musa, Street, Jabi, Abuja.

According to a highly-placed source, who spoke in confidence, said the security agents came in two vehicles with registration numbers RSH 555 AB and BWA 645 GA.

The source said the agents presented a warrant before entering the building to conduct a “search”.

The source said: “The operatives and policemen came at about 7am and for about four and a half hours, they ransacked the residence of the former Comptroller-General.

“Although they did not molest anyone in the house, they ignored our plea that the ex-CG and his wife were not around.

“They were certainly looking for some documents or evidence, but they were not forthcoming on their mission.”

Findings, however, revealed that the ex-CG is being investigated over alleged curious N3billion vote spent by the NCS a few days to the handing over to President Muhammadu Buhari.

The said cash, which was allegedly spent on the directive of the presidency, was regarded as “unjustifiably used” by the customs management.

“Before the handover to the new government, there were curious expenditures incurred by the Customs Service acting on orders from above.

“Based on shock findings and clues, the EFCC is investigating the allegations. The operatives went to Dikko’s residence to conduct a search and effect his arrest.

“There are also issues bordering on the alleged diversion of customs revenues to fund the campaign of the PDP and ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011 and 2015.”

No EFCC official was available for comments as at the time of filing this report.

Before the EFCC’s raid, a pressure group identified as the Nigerian Customs Transparency Initiative(NCTI) had petitioned the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over alleged abuse of office, disappearance of some containers and N3.5 billion incurred on the installation of Internet facility by the Customs Service.

In the petition, which was signed by one Dr. James Onoja, the NCTI said: “The Customs Board was kept in the dark as promotions were manipulated and Customs officials were selectively elevated. Bootlickers, favourites and stooges were elevated to juicy and sumptuous positions and postings to Lagos and Port-Harcourt ports.

“Meritocracy was slaughtered on the altar of mediocrity and reckless abuse of office with unmitigated religious and ethnic bias. Purchase of vehicles: Prices of B.M.W vehicles for senior officers were criminally inflated. About N3.5 billion naira was siphoned and frittered away through an internet project that never saw daylight.

“Thirteen containers at T.C.I.P. were impounded sometime ago. It was claimed that four Iranians were arrested with the containers, two of which disappeared into the thin air.

“There is false declaration of Annual Customs Revenue Generation. In order to give false impression of excellent performance, the Customs Service adds figure of the Value Added Tax (VAT) which Customs collects on behalf of Federal inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to the revenue derived from custom duties whereas the same VAT figure has been included in the VAT revenue declared and announced by FIRS as required by law, thereby creating a misleading duplication of revenue figure derived from VAT.

“The contract for the construction of Customs Staff College was aided and abetted by a Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, who was not a member of Nigerian Customs Board. The company used for the contract was registered three weeks after the award of the contract. Also, the estate named Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Customs Barracks at Kuje was purchased at the inflated rate of N4billion and renovated with N10billion.”

The ICPC was still on the investigation of the petition as at the time of filing this report.

-[The Nation Nigeria]