Stakeholders in the maritime industry have called for the probe of former Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Alhaji Dikko Abdulahi over the sale of auctions and purchase of scanners during his tenure.
Stakeholders who spoke with Nigerian NewsDirect after the raid of his residence by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday and eventual order of his arrest by airports security officials whenever he is sighted said, the former Customs Comptroller General deserved to be probed as he has a lot of ‘baggage’ during his tenure which need to be investigated.
.They alleged that the former Customs boss superintended over the most corrupt customs service over the years and also institutionalized corruption by supporting insubordination and skipping of system from its structures before he was allegedly forced to resign.
“A civil servant whose annual salary is not up to N3 million managed to acquire a mansion worth tens of millions of naira in one of the most expensive cities in his country and across major cities of the world”, stakeholders in the maritime industry said adding that government should probe sales of auction under his administration as well as purchase of scanners at various seaports including land borders across the country.
Speaking on the embattled ex-CG, the National President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Lucky Amiwero said the government should have arrested the former Customs boss immediately he resigned from office because of the crime he committed while in office.
He said, “Before he resigned, there were several petitions against him, still they allowed him to move out. It will be very difficult to track him down but I believe government has information about him and what happened under his administration.
“His case looks different. When other people were arrested, they were given instruction in his own case because he actually committed atrocities. Apart from looting the system, he operated a very difficult administration as he destroyed the Nigeria Customs Service”.
He stressed further that stakeholders are not comfortable with the type of soft-landing given to him because he supposed to have been arrested long time ago. When asked whether the immediate past CGC was being persecuted by the current administration, Amiwero said it could not be true as evidences abound on atrocities committed by Dikko.
“How can he be persecuted when everyone knew the man is fraudulent and a known looter. Look at his investment all over the place and how much is he earning, he should have been arrested immediately he left. Many people are watching the customs to see what the government will do. People know his investments and houses everywhere. There are evidences before now about his atrocities. For instance, look at the scanners he bought, they have all collapsed. He just messed up the service and left it in ruins. He brought the service to disrepute. We are waiting for what the government will do. There are petitions against him and most of these petitions are real.
Also speaking, a frontline Customs agent and member of the anti-corruption committee of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Steven Ibe said Dikko is the most corrupt CG Nigeria ever had. He also accused him of raising corruption to the highest level in the system before he left.
“My own opinion is that, before government starts doing anything, there must be investigation and we saw what happened as stakeholders. What the federal government is doing is the right thing. There are many corruption allegations against him and everyone knows that Dikko is a corrupt officer and he breeds corruption. That type of corruption in the system is unprecedented”, Ibe stated.
The National President of the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders (AREFF) on his own called for the probe of auction sale under the embattled ex-CG.
He said the ex-CGC enriched himself through illegal auctioning of containers to friends and cronies who gave him kick backs. “Dikko is one of the people that headed the most viable revenue agency in the country. Customs is the highest revenue earner after oil and there are evidences of corruption during his tenure. During the time of Dikko as CGC, there are allegations against him but the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan refused to take action. This is the right time to take the action because if Jonathan refuses to take action this government wants, then I think that is the best. There are allegations that he has over N6trillion and it was reported that he is allegedly the most corrupt civil servant in the world, he allegedly committed a lot of atrocities”, he said.
On the auction sales, he said, “Government should probe the auction sales because there are over 2,100 containers apart from cars. I wrote about it and I said it was not right for customs to seize and sell but they refused to take heed. That is what is playing out. What customs does is to look at containers of high value, value them and call somebody who can buy and asked them to pay little money to government why the rest goes to their pocket. This government should pay attention to auction sold and see how much they made from the containers, Ukor said.
In many quarters, the embattled former CGC was described as personally supervising officers in sensitive or lucrative beats by ensuring that they were answerable only to him directly even if they have superiors in such commands. Such “lucrative” postings were being used to massively short-change the federal government through under declarance of revenue and manipulation of auctions.
Effort to get the reaction of the ex CGC proved abortive as several calls made to his phone were not answered neither were the text messages replied.