Customs drag firm to court over alleged illegal importation, others

The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit has charged Mr  Roland Uche Ogbonna, Managing Director of Elgusto Classic  International before Hon. Justice Abdulazeez Anka  of Federal High  Court, Ikoyi, on three counts charge of illegal importation of furniture, breaking of customs seal and evasion  of duty payment.
A statement issued by Public Relations Officer, FOUA, Jerry Attah  explained that based on information, the suspect and his company were alleged to have  imported 511 sets of various furniture from China in July 2016,  contrary to provision of section 47 (i) and (ii) of the Customs and  Excise Management Act, Cap C45 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
After preliminary investigation, inspection and discovery at the  warehouse in Lekki, Officers and Men of the Service swung into action  by sealing up the warehouse pending investigation.
  The owner of the warehouse alongside two of his staff were arrested, detained  and released after their statements were taken and all bail conditions  were met.
On the 1st of August 2016, information got to the Unit that the  Managing Director with his staff had broken the seal of the Nigeria  Customs Service placed upon Elgusto Classic International warehouse  located at km 43, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lekki, without authority, with  the intent to evade prohibition, thereby committed an offence contrary  to the provision of section 145 (5) of CEMA LFN 2004, which they were  charged for.
“After breaking the seal, they removed some sets of the furniture  imported from China valued at N100,000,000.00 (One Hundred Million  Naira only), which they were arraigned, for the intent of evading  payment of Customs duty, an offence contrary to the provision of  section 164 (a) of CEMA Cap C45 LFN 2004.
“While Mr Roland Uche Ogbonna, Managing Director, Elgusto Classic  International was remanded in Ikoyi Prison awaiting trial as the case  was adjourned to October 19 2016, the Warehouse was resealed. Ajakaye, Julius Iyiola, who led the legal team of the Nigeria Customs Service  prayed that the court expedite the legal proceedings to serve as  deterrent to others.
The Controller, Federal Operations Unit Zone A, Comptroller Umar  Mohammed Dahiru expressed determination to sustain the present tempo  of zero tolerance for smuggling under his watch and praised the  commitment and diligence of his officers/men for thwarting the antics  of smugglers. While assuring legitimate traders of Nigeria Customs  Service support, he warned smugglers to desist from such illicit  trade, as it is no longer profitable.
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