A foremost maritime sector operator, Prince Olusegun Ologbese has cautioned the Economic and Financial Crime Commission [EFCC} over the arrest and detention of some serving and retired Customs officers over the N3billion import duty which was allegedly evaded by the Vaswani Brothers.
Those currently been held by the EFCC over the matter include the former Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Alhaji Hamman Bello Ahmed, former Customs Area Controller (CAC), Apapa Area One Command, Hannatu Suleiman, the present CAC of the same command, Mr Femi Taylor and the Chairman of the Task Force on Port Decongestion, Mr Nathaniel Ihenacho.
Reacting to the serial arrests and detention in Lagos last week in Lagos, Ologbese argued that apart from the Ahmed Bello, the three other officers, that is Sulaiman, Taylor and Ihenacho were only carrying instruction from their superior officer and therefore they should be set free in the name justice.
Shipping Position Weekly recalls that the Federal Government had last year temporarily waived import duties on rice for 90 days. But the Vaswani bothers who took advantage of the temporary waiver could not get their shipments into the country before the 90 days grace period, a development which made the then CAC to insist that appropriate duty must be paid
According to Ologbese , the Vaswani Brothers then reported to the former Comptroller General of Customs, Ahmed Bello who in turn ordered the CAC to release the goods to them.
On the rumour that Bello denied giving that order, Ologbese said the denial of the former CGC over the release of the said goods was in bad faith.