Home » Kayode Kolade, Ibrahim Jalo, Other top Customs Officers Alleged in Smuggling/ Bribe Taking Scandal

Kayode Kolade, Ibrahim Jalo, Other top Customs Officers Alleged in Smuggling/ Bribe Taking Scandal


BY Mohammed Fitr/ABUJA// Although, Security Monitor gathers there are attempts to cover up the mess as some high-ranking officials of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS were recently grilled by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC over trans border smuggling and  bribe taking.

The officers indicted include Kayode Kolade, Ibrahim Jalo, Nurudeen Musa, Mohammed Rabiu, Ibrahim Hamisu, Madugu Saleh and Umar Tafarki.

The investigation by the anti graft agencies were so daring that parts of the bribes received by the alleged senior customs officers have been confiscated.

The officers were found to own properties and businesses way above what their earnings as customs officers and multiple sources were said to have confirmed their complicity.

SECURITY MONITOR learnt that the EFCC’s investigation also involves at least 33 other officers of the service.

According to a source, some of these officials amassed the largest tranche of these bribes from smugglers last year after the directive to close the Nigeria-Niger border by the Nigerian government as part of ECOWAS sanctions against the military junta that deposed Nigerien President, Mohamed Bazoum.

Although ECOWAS has now lifted the sanction, there were reports that goods were still smuggled through the borders with Nigeria despite the initial border closure.

Findings revealed that some of the customs officials have been accepting bribes from smugglers to allow flow movement of goods through the borders.

“The smugglers pay bribes directly or through agents designated accounts of the NCS officials,” the source said, adding that most of the officers detained operate in Zone B, which operates in more than half the borders that Nigeria shares with Niger Republic in Sokoto, Katsina, Kano, and Jigawa states.

The customs has four zonal headquarters across the country. Zone A in Lagos covers the entire South-west geopolitical zone. Zone B in Kaduna covers the North-west as well as Niger, Kogi, Kwara and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Zone C in Port Harcourt, covers the South-east and south-south. Zone D covers the North-east states of Plateau, Benue and Nasarawa States.

Six of the seven identified officers worked in Zone B while one officer, to whom more than 80 per cent of the N12 billion was traced to, works in Zone C, Port Harcourt.

One of the arrested officers, the NCS’ Area Controller Zone B Kaduna, Ibrahim Jalo, was found with $31,200 and N500,000 in cash when arrested, the source noted.

Jalo only assumed duty as the Area Controller Zone B in January last year, where he was said to have quickly made 130 record seizures within eight weeks of assuming the position.

But the EFCC traced suspected proceeds of bribes from smugglers totalling N1.1 billion to him.

Our sources revealed that the customs officer promptly refunded N250 million, with a promise to refund the balance.

The EFCC also traced N126 million to Mr Jalo’s personal assistant, Umar Tafarki. He has also refunded N12 million.

Another officer involved in this saga is Kayode Kolade, the Comptroller Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone C, Port Harcourt. The anti-graft agency traced N9.5 billion, suspected to be bribes from smugglers, to him, all of which he was said to have received personally and through proxies between 2015 and 2023.

The EFCC detained Mr Kolade for three days in December. He spent Christmas Day in detention. He has refunded N50 million and committed to refund N800 million within a short period.

Another indicted officer, Nurudeen Musa, is the Comptroller of Enforcement, Kaduna Zone. The EFCC traced N950 million to him. The anti-graft agency has recovered N583 million from him after he spent days in detention. He has also promised to refund the rest.

The EFCC’s investigation found that Mr Musa, who previously served as Area Comptroller, Katsina Area command, was extraordinarily wealthy and owned lots of assets including two filling stations and large trucks, all of which investigators suspect were acquired with illicit funds.

Meanwhile, Hamisu Ibrahim, the officer in charge of Operation FOU Zone B, Kaduna, was suspected to have garnered N120 million in bribes from smugglers between 2019 and 2023. As of January, he has refunded N13 million and promised to refund the rest.

Meanwhile, Madugu Saleh and Mohammed Rabiu were suspected to have received N85 million and 84 million respectively from smugglers.

Saleh has refunded N13.5 million and promised to refund the rest.

Rabiu, the officer in charge of patrol on the Agangaro/Jibia Road, refunded N15 million to the anti-graft agency.

The EFCC investigation, the arrests and refunds were made between November last year and January

But despite this huge indictment against them, these officers have gone back to their duty posts without prosecution by the EFCC or reprimand from the NCS.

Last month, Mr Kolade, the Comptroller, FOU Zone C, one of the officers who returned parts of the proceeds of bribes he allegedly got from smugglers, decorated some newly promoted officers in the zone.



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