Twenty-nine Senior officers of the Nigeria Customs Service have been dismissed for various acts of gross misconduct.
The dismissed officers are among forty-four Senior officers who were punished
for actions capable of compromising national economy and security.
Ten other officers were retired from Service, while the appointment of one was terminated.
Four other officers were given written warnings to be of better conduct while another four officers who were investigated and tried for some offences were exonerated.
Four of the officers who got the hammer were of the rank of Deputy-Comptroller of Customs, while five were Assistant-Comptroller. Others were seven Chief Superintendents of Customs and four Superintendents, among others.
A statement made available to this blog and signed by the Public Relations Officer of Customs Wale Adeniyi said the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hammed Ali (Rtd) had made it clear upon his assumption of duties that the Service will not compromise on Corruption and Indiscipline among the officers corps.
In line with this, the statement said the structure and process for investigation of offences was strengthened to handle cases reported promptly and professionally. “We will give all officers fair hearing in line with the principle of natural justice. We will however insist that
sanctions be punitive, not only to match the offence committed, but to
serve as deterrent to others”, the CGC remarked at a Management meeting
convened to consider the report of the Disciplinary Committee that investigated the cases.
The process leading to the actions taken on the officers was painstaking in line with the Public Service Rules (PSR). All the
officers were served with Queries indicating offences committed, before they made appearances before the Special Investigation Committee. The Committee’s recommendation was discussed and approved by the Customs Management. The recommendation was thereafter referred to the Presidency for ratification, in the absence of a substantive
Board for the Nigeria Customs Service. All the officers affected in the exercise have been communicated accordingly.
The Comptroller-General warned officers that punitive sanctions will continue to be used to discipline officers who refuse to embrace change.
Officers affected in this exercise were investigated for involvement in improper examination and release of containers without proper documentation and payment of duties, illegal release of goods
in advance before the arrival of vessels, collection of bribe to release prohibited items, release of export prohibitions, fraudulent sale of seized items, use of fake certificates and bribery to secure
Last week, Seventeen Junior officers were similarly dismissed from service for offences like bribery, drug addiction, use of fake certificates and absence from duty.