The Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has debunked the allegation of extortion leveled against its Deputy Controller in charge of Valuation, DC Frank Onyeka by a freight forwarder, describing it as unfounded fabrication.
The command’s spokesman, Mr Uche Ejesieme disclosed this against the backdrop of allegations leveled against the Valuation Officer.
In his reaction to the allegation, Ejesieme, a Chief Superintendent of Customs maintained that the accused officer is one of the best that the command can vouch, adding that DC Frank could not condescend as low as taking laws into his hands.
According to him, the DC Valuation provided evidence of valuation related infractions running into millions and which necessitated serious checks and stringent measures.
While noting that the issue had been resolved between the parties after subjecting the documents to system checks, he said “The issue was erroneously blown out of proportion because the DC valuation Tin can, without trying to hold brief, is one of our finest professionals and cannot afford to condescend as low as engaging into the alleged acts.
“I actually invited the parties yesterday for a meeting and the DC valuation provided evidence of valuation related infractions running into millions and which necessitated serious checks and stringent measures.
“The issues that led to that accusations was resolved as soon as the DC subjected the documents to system checks. We have also advised the trading public to desist from blowing otherwise menial trade disputes out of proportion and creating a wrong impression abut the service.
“And this is why we have always advised and advocated for continuous engagement in resolving trade disputes,” he stated.
A freight forwarder, Comrade Gozie had on Monday accused the DC of asking agents to produce videos of examination carried out by officers and men of the Service.
Gozie added that if any agent is unable to produce the video, he would be made to part with half a million for the alert raised to be closed.
He also queried if taking pictures and recording videos are now parts of criteria for clearing containers in the port.
His words, “Then I ask, is making videos or taking pictures now the module operandi of conducting a physical examination? if yes, then why is it not stated on the valuation been giving to us for physical examination? why has the terminal operators restricted any agent to take any photo or make any video in the examination bay?