Controversy as Customs invade Lagos market, cart away rice, money
Controversy has trailed the invasion of the Better Life section of the Ikotun Market in Lagos State by men of the Nigeria Customs Service.
While some of the traders claimed that the law enforcement officers carted away local rice, including the money they kept in their shops, the agency said only foreign rice smuggled into the state were taken away.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the incident happened around 1am on Wednesday, March 24, 2021.
Some of the traders, who spoke to one of our correspondents, claimed that the officials took no fewer than 592 bags of rice and N5m cash.
A trader, Wasiu Ayinde, said he hurried to the scene after getting information on the invasion, adding that he was shot at when he queried the officials.
He said, “I only sell local rice. I have a machine that I use for the production of local rice in Minna, Niger State. Since the Federal Government said we should not sell foreign rice again, I stopped selling and focused on local rice.
“I was called around 1am that customs officials were in the market and that they were burgling shops, but I didn’t pay attention since I was not selling contraband. Another call came in around 2am that all my goods had been taken away. I got up immediately, mounted my motorcycle and went to the market.
“On getting to the market, I saw that they had packed all the 341 bags of rice in my shop, so I started screaming at the officials that I was a local rice dealer. They started shooting and did not mind if I was hit. My wife and I had to run for our lives; we got injured in the process.