Following the sack of 17 junior officers of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) for various offenses in the ongoing purge and reform of the service by the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Alli (Rtd), findings have revealed that pressure is mounting on the retired Colonel to discard further ;robe of wrong doings by officers in the senior category.
According to an impeccable source in one of the Service seaport commands who declined not to have his name in print, “the recent sack of 17 officers was supposed to have included the senior officers that were also affected in the probe but that was shelved due to pressure from higher quarters on the CG not to go ahead with the sack.
“That was why when the sack list came out; it was only junior officers that were affected. Although the service said result of investigations into the probe of some senior officers will be out soon, what we learnt was that the announcement of the sack of the senior officers was shelved for another day due to immense pressure from distant quarters, particularly first class traditional rulers from the Northern part of the country, on the Customs CG.
“Some of these senior officers who are being investigated are sons and friends of powerful traditional rulers who at one time or the other were highly placed politically in the affairs of this country. So many of these highly placed Nigerians have approached the CG for the shelving of the ongoing probe, but the CG in his usual character, is not yielding to this pressure.
“Many of them have been found to be involved mainly in drug addiction and certificate forgery. The know themselves and have been running from pillar to post to save their jobs.
“We even learnt the CG has stopped picking some particular phone calls to avoid sounding rude to some highly regarded traditional rulers in the country. Whether the expected list of sacked senior officers will be made public or not will determine if the CG has stood his ground.”
When contacted via text, the Spokesman of the NCS, Wale Adeniyi denied that the CGC is currently under any form of pressure from any quarters. In his words, “allegations of pressure from any quarters absolutely not true.”
It will be recalled that 17 Junior Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service were recently dismissed from the Service for offences ranging from drug addiction, certificate forgery, theft and absence from duty from January to September 2016.
The appointment of two other officers was also terminated for absence from duty while one officer was retired for drug addiction.