Crisis looms in Apapa Customs over emergence of two Comptrollers
A major crisis of precedence may be looming at the Apapa Area 1 Command of the Nigeria Customs Service over the emergence of two Comptrollers at the same time, in what stakeholders described as two captains piloting the same ship.
It was gathered that while one of the Comptrollers is in charge of Valuation unit and reports to the Deputy Comptroller General DCG in charge of Trade and Tariff, R.O Olubiyi, the other; Comptroller Muhammed Abba-Kura reports to the Comptroller General of the service, Col. Hameed Ali rtd.
Trouble started about one month ago when the management of the service promoted and decorated some officers and transferred many to new duty posts including Comptroller Abbass, who was before his elevation and redeployment Deputy Comptroller in charge of valuation, a posting many stakeholders described as ‘very juicy’ whatever that means.
Business and Transport gathered authoritatively that more than one month after his transfer to the Lagos Zone A, Customs headquarters located on Harvey Road, Yaba, Comptroller Abbass has ignored the management of the service by remaining in Apapa as DC Valuation and illegally signing clearing documents.
Competent sources at the Apapa Command disclosed that the legitimate Comptroller Abba- Kura is entirely frustrated by the ugly development but is also helpless since the DC Valuation as a matter of hierarchy does not report to him but to the DCG, Trade and Tariff.
The sources also hinted that the newly appointed DC Valuation, who has been waiting almost endlessly to assume official duty is even more frustrated and helpless than the Comptroller.
Some experts, who spoke on this development, noted that the decision of the former DC to remain on his former duty post more than one month after he was promoted, decorated with the new rank and transferred to another location is a sign of indiscipline and lack of control, especially in a regimented service like the Customs.
Another stakeholder, who pleaded anonymity said: “A crisis is looming in the service because a bad precedent is being set and it is even more dangerous that the newly promoted Comptroller would most likely go away with this without being punished for this grave disobedience to serve as a deterrant to others. The danger lies in the fact that if another officer commits the same offence in the future, will the service punish or penalise him or her?”
When contacted, the legitimate head of Apapa Command, Comptroller Abba-Kura declined comments on the issue, insisting that all reactions on the development should be channelled through the Public Relations Unit of the command, who was also not available as at the time of filing this report.
Efforts to speak with Comptroller Abbass proved abortive, as he refused to take up call put across to his cell phone or SMS message sent through the same channel.