|Dikko: Nigerian Customs Boss|
The Comptroller-general of Nigeria Customs Service(NCS), Alhaji Ahmed Dikko and the Minster of Power, Professor Bath Nnaji have been ordered by Nigeria's upper Parliament, the Senate to within seven days recover a $3 billion worth of equipment belonging to the National Independent Power Project(NIPP), which the Customs sold to a private firm or risk being arrested.
The upper legislative house yesterday threatened to issue warrants of arrest if the order is not complied with, within the stipulated period. The upper parliament also frowned at the suspension of some persons said to have been involved in the secret auction of the said equipment and the setting up of a committee to look into the matter by the Vice-president, Mr. Namadi Sambo. Senate described these actions as inadequate.
The Nigeria Customs Service however claimed that it did not know that the equipment belonged to the Power Holding of Nigeria Company(PHCN) at the time of the auction. Customs told Senate yesterday that the consignment landed at Apapa port consigned to a private firm. NCS said that import/export laws empower it to auction unclaimed consignments after ninety days from the date of landing.
The Customs defence notwithstanding, the Senate reiterated its order that the equipment must be recovered within seven days or the Customs Comptroller-general and Minister of Power would be arrested and prosecuted.