Former Comptroller Of Customs Petitions FG For Alleged Unlawful Retirement

•Accuses Customs CG Of Disobeying Supreme Court Ruling

A former Comptroller of Customs, Abdullahi Bello Gusau, has written a petition to the Federal Government against the Comptroller General of Customs, Col Hameed Ali (rtd) and the Nigeria Customs Service, alleging that he was unlawfully retired from service. He also pleaded that he should be reinstated in adherence to the ruling of the Supreme Court.

The embattled Comptroller lamented that he was retired prematurely four days after he uncovered N1.3Billion fraud through Post Clearance Audit (PCA) at the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) headquarters in Abuja.

He said that his illegal retirement was contested, and he proceeded to the Supreme Court  where  he emerged victorious after the Supreme Court final judgement in April 2017.

In his petition, Gusau stated that: “I was unlawfully retired and lucked out of office exactly four days after I uncovered over N1. 3 billion fraud through online audit through Single Good Declaration Audit form’’

“I audited only 20 SGDs forms online and discovered gross underpayment of import duty revenue amounting to over N1.3 billion at Apapa port Area command. I was in charge of FCT command (CAC FCT) Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport,” it stated.

In the petition signed by Barrister G.T. Afolabi, of Olugbenga Afolabi & Associates, on behalf of Comptroller Gusau, he claimed  that the Supreme Court judgement mandated the Comptroller General and Nigeria Customs Service  to reinstate Comptroller Bello Gusau, but the Comptroller General refused to comply.

In a copy of the judgement delivered on April, 7, 2017, by Justice Ejembi Eko, and made available, the Supreme Court affirmed the Appeal Court’s judgement including the consequential orders, and mandated the CG to reinstate Gusau together with all the consequential orders of the Supreme Court of Nigeria as contained in the judgement.

According to the petition, the Apex Court also made declarations that the purported retirement of the plaintiff (Bello Gusau) by the second defendant (Customs) is unlawful, malicious, irregular and fragrant violation of the plaintiff right of employment until the mandatory retirement age.

“The Supreme Court’s 5-man panel of Justices, headed by CJN, Walter S.N Onnoghen, also made an order affirming Appeal court judgement and the purported retirement of the plaintiff by 1st and 2nd defendant’s public notice as unlawful.

The Court also ordered the defendant to allow Comptroller Gusau to resume work and also maintain his positions as Comptroller of Customs and be paid all his benefits and emoluments and enjoy his lawful promotions”.