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Senate probes alleged killings at borders by Customs

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The Senate Chamber

Senate, on Wednesday, mandated its Committee on Customs and Tariff to investigate alleged extra judicial killings at the country’s borders by operatives of Nigerian Customs Service, NCS.

This is even as it charged security agencies to intervene in the increasing rate of kidnappings in the riverine areas of Ogun State, especially by establishing a Naval Base in Makun-Omi to address the problem.

These were sequel to two different motions by Senators Tolulope Odebiyi (APC Ogun West) and Olalekan Mustapha (APC Ogun East) on the subject matters during plenary.

Senator Odebiyi in his motion on “The need to condemn the incessant excesses and the recent extra judicial killings of people by men of the Nigerian Customs Service in Idiroko/Ipokia State constituency”, stressed the need for the upper legislative chamber to intervene on the ugly incident.

He said since the closure of the country’s land borders, men of the Customs had been conducting themselves in a very reckless and unruly manner along the Idiroko axis.

He said that it was disturbing that “precisely, on October 7, while we were on break, men of the customs service were alleged to have shot and killed a student including subjecting many students to various degrees of injury.”

The lawmaker went further: “The people of Idiroko State constituency are daily being harassed and treated with disdain by men of the Nigerian Customs Service.

“While many of the actions and excesses by the operatives including the recent killings were not only breaches but were done against the state, sadly there are yet to be any report of any of the officers involved or reprimanded.”

Supporting the motion, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe (APC-Kwara Central) said “we have debated on this floor the reason for the closure of the border and its importance.

“It is very unfortunate and sad that lives of Nigerians are lost as a result of their actions.

“It is also sad that those men are not keeping to the code of their various services,” he said.

Also presenting hid motion via Orders 42 and 52, Senator Mustapha, said it has become imperative for security agencies to intervene in the increasing rate of kidnappings in the riverine areas of Ogun West senatorial district so as to secure the water ways.

He particularly urged the Nigerian Navy to establish a Naval base in Makun-Omi “because of the strategic location between Ondo and Lagos States and its accessibility to both road and water.”

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan disclosed that he had been holding regular meetings with heads of security agencies, Minister of Communications and others on the best way to improve the security situation in the country.

“I have said it here that no amount of resources would be too much for combating insecurity, because we need to secure our people, we need to secure this country. It would remain a pipe dream if we continue to ask people to come to Nigeria to invest actually even those inside the country may not invest properly if the security situation remains very dicey.

“This is something we have to do together with the executive arm of government and in fact I was looking for something out of the ordinary for more funding in order to be able to deal this challenge at this moment.

“So, we have to go out of our way to look for resources outside national annual budget. If we can give say N600 or N700billion to this urgent course nothing stops us to look for the same or more money to put in and address the security situation in the country,” he stressed.

Lawan, who emphasized the need to find a way to track the menace, disclosed that a national emergency centre with specific numbers would have been launched two weeks ago to further arrest the situation.

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