The Ohanaeze Youths Council (OYC) on Wednesday raised alarm over the rate at which Igbo traders were allegedly being extorted by the Customs Officers (Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) on the highways in the country.
While speaking with newsmen in Owerri, the Imo State capital, Wednesday, the president of the OYC, Comrade Igboayaka O. Igboayaka said Igbo traders and businessmen in the country, especially in Lagos State, had suffered series of extortions in the hands of the Nigeria Customs Officers.
He added that the situation had reached an alarming stage.
Igboayaka also said the Customs Officers no longer hide “their inclination and pleasure in extorting money from Igbo traders doing legitimate business in Nigeria”.
He said, “Verified complaints reaching the OYC has confirmed that customs officials have continued to request undue and illegal ‘customs duties and levies’ from Igbo importers as a condition to clear their goods. They also stop Igbo traders on the roads to extort from them. They employ the use of coercion, threats, closure of shops and seizure of goods worth billions of naira to unlawfully obtain money from their victims.
“Recently, some of the officials from the custom office in Ikeja, without court order, stormed Igbo shops at Maryland, Coscharis, Ikorodu and other areas in Lagos and carted away their goods and locked their shops over products that have already been cleared by the same custom officials when it entered Nigerian borders”, he added.