Businessman narrates how car was seized, money stolen, forced to give bribe to customs officers

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An aggrieved car owner, Ibrahim O. Oyeniyi, of No 40, Zone C Area, Apalara/AdetaIlorin Kwara State, has petitioned the Nigeria Customs Service, Ibadan Zonal Office, over the unlawful seizure, continuous detention of his Mercedes Benz Car Model No: C240 with the registration number: (LRN 260 NK) and the subsequent looting of valuables in the car as well as bribe request and a threat to his life by officers from the zone.

In the petition sighted by News Express the petitioner noted as follows: “I am a businessman whose line of business has to do with FX Portfolio Management. I am the Founder/CEO of IBR-Global Markets Ltd (RC: 1322846).

“I do carry on business within and outside Nigeria diligently and in accordance with laid down rules and regulation binding my business activities within and outside the country.

“On my way from Lagos to Ilorin, along Lagos – Ibadan Expressway on November 30, 2017, I was stopped by some men (In fact, I didn’t want to stop initially because they were putting on mufti but I had to wait on sighting their marked official vehicle) which I later discovered to be men of Nigerian Customs Services. I showed them the customs duty of the car upon their request which they marked fake duty. This copy of the duty described as fake is hereby attached as these men of the Nigerian Customs Service forcefully (one of the officers cocked the gun and pointed it at me) collected the car key from me and left without giving any means of identification and contact address.

“These people loaded themselves inside my car (they are 10 in number, four of them bugged inside my car while the rest six entered inside a Hilux vehicle) and zoomed off to an unknown destination. I was able to copy the plate number of their Hilux van (CS 212 A 0/1).

“I was left on the dangerous road. I trekked down to the nearest police station which was the Toll-Gate police station. I made a complaint to the Nigeria Police Force at the Toll-Gate office and stated those items that were made away with my car. The items include the sum of N1.6million cash, a wristwatch, ATM cards of Stanbic IBTC and Access Bank, Payment Tellers among others.

“Those men of Customs were later discovered to be from Zonal office of the Nigerian Customs Service in Ibadan. After due consultation with an official of the Zone (Mr Adewole Moses, OC Enforcement). I was asked to go and prepare a genuine customs duty before I can be allowed access to my car. I consequently followed their directives by paying the customs duty. The copy of the said genuine duty and a confirmation slip from one of the customs offices are hereby attached as Exhibit 4.

“In one of my visit to the Customs office in Ibadan, after several pressures made by me to ensure my car was released, one of their officers (PA to the Area Controller) gave others legal implications of the continuous detention of my properties after due compliance.

“Later, Mr Adewole Moses (OC Enforcement) instructed some officers to escort me to where the car was packed to search inside the car if my assets were intact, but unfortunately, N1.6million was missing.

“The recorded video showing this evidence is hereby attached as Exhibit 5, and can also be watched on YouTube with the subject: (Justice Please: Petition against men of the Nigerian customs).

“Further to this, when they discovered that some of my properties were missing in the car, they swiftly and fraudulently served me a postdated form C60 (Notice of Detention/Seizure) by their head of Legal department, (a woman with the rank OC Legal), claiming that I was intercepted on Thursday February 8, 2018, not knowing that an official complaint has been made few hours to the incident.

“Attached is the fraudulently postdated form C60 (Notice of Detention / Seizure) as Exhibit 6 Subsequently, I was asked to pay the sum of N250,000.00

“When I protested against the bribe, I was sent out of their office. They threatened further that if I ever show up in their office, I will be detained. I have no option than to do what is within my capacity.

“Mr Adewole Moses (OC Enforcement) instructed two of his officers to collect the said bribe from me, saying extensively that the said bribe is not only for him but also for the Area controller, Mr Bayero (DC Enforcement), OC Legal among others. One of the officers is named: Ibrahim from Legal Department and the second officer is named: Lateef Abdul Kareem Ajao (he is one of the officers that drive/escort the area controller).

“They collected the sum of N187,000.00 from me cash through Mr Muhammad Olanrewaju Salaty, (popularly known as Mukadam Soliheen). When they collected the said money from me, they still insisted that if the money does not complete N250,000.00, they won’t release my car.

“The second day, I went back to their office and started shouting, suddenly saw Mr Lateef Abdul Kareem Ajao, (“one of the officers who collected the bribe”) and Mr Muhammad Olanrewaju Salaty, later Mr Lateef Abdul Kareem Ajao requested for my bank account details in order to make transfer back to me, when I gave him my bank details, to my surprise, he transferred the sum of N7,000 0 back to me out of the N187,000 they fraudulently collected from me .

“Attached is the bank statement showing the proof of the transfer from his account to my account as Exhibit 7. Several letters of demand were written to the Zonal Office but the effort proved abortive as more bribes were requested as a ransom for the release of my car. Furthermore, my lawyer wrote the Comptroller General of Customs in Abuja on the July 9, 2018 and the letter was acknowledged on the 10th Day of July 2018. Till date, no response from the Comptroller General’s office. The said copy of the petition is hereby attached as Exhibit 8.

“As am writing this letter, my business is totally down and I was unable to secure my business contracts with our Brokerage Partners abroad (AFX Capital Markets Ltd, Cyprus and Equiti Group, Jordan) due to the stolen funds in my car. Said contracts with the two Partner Brokerage Houses worth $ 213,296.39 which is approximately N77million.

“Evidence to the contracts is hereby attached as Exhibit 9. Further to this, when I was unable to continue with my business, I was served a quit notice to evacuate the office premises, and that has paralyzed my business totally. Evidence to this is hereby attached as Exhibit 10.

“This matter has already been published with online news agency (DailyPost News) with some attached evidence on September 19, 2018. When Mr Adewole Moses was interrogated by the newsmen (Daily Post News) concerning my intercepted car, he stated as follows below:

“When Daily Post contacted Moses, the officer in charge of the matter, he confirmed the Mercedes Benz was impounded but dismissed Oyeniyi’s claim of N1.6m theft.”

Source News Express

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