Premium Times (Abuja)

28 May 2013

Nigeria: Soldiers Nab Top Customs Officer for Allegedly Ferrying Arms for Boko Haram

Photo: Leadership
Boko Haram.

Soldiers have arrested a serving senior official of the Nigeria Customs Service in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital for allegedly assisting Boko Haram insurgents to import arms into the country, both security and non-military sources revealed to PREMIUM TIMES.

The officer, who is a native of one of the states in the volatile Northeast Nigeria, found himself in trouble when soldiers intercepted a vehicle cleared to enter the country through a border post under his command.

Some military sources who confirmed the incident to reporters in Maiduguri said the Customs officer was exposed when the driver of the truck carrying the illegal arms mentioned his name 'as the Oga that allowed him to enter the country with the arms'.

The sources said the customs officer was also linked with several arms importation, an act that probably made him very rich, to buy his numerous landed property and posh cars.

The news of the incident, which had been downplayed by the security agencies in Maiduguri, however, became the talk of the town after it broke open this week.

A Borno civil servant told Journalists at the Government House, Maiduguri, that government officials know about the arrest of the officer.

"It is no longer a hidden news that he was arrested in connection with helping Boko Haram to bring in arms. A security source also told me that the senior officer manned the border post each time the truck conveying arms was about coming into Maiduguri. He would simply tell his boys to let it pass that it has been cleared from above," said the civil servant who did not want his name published for security reasons.

Sources also said several military uniforms and guns were also recovered from the Maiduguri home of the arrested customs officer after a team of soldiers visited the building last week.

Journalists could not get across to the spokesmen of the various security outfits in Maiduguri, including the JTF spokesman, Sagir Musa, due to the grounding of telecommunication network which has lasted for almost two weeks since the emergency rule declaration.

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