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Okechukwu Nwanguma of NOPPRIN – CP Edgal has broken new grounds in crime control



Okechukwu Nwanguma

The National Coordinator, Okechukwu Nwanguma of Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN), comprising 46 civil society organizations committed to promoting accountability and respect for human rights. He focuses on monitoring, documenting and denouncing abuse of human rights by the police and other law enforcement agencies.

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Okechukwu Nwanguma

Okechukwu Nwanguma-Edgal

For nearly two decades, Okechukwu Nwanguma of Network on Police Reform in Nigeria has been involved in efforts to reform and strengthen state institutions in Nigeria, particularly the criminal justice system. In 2012, Okechukwu Nwanguma was the civil society liaison for a panel on police reform established by Network on Police Reform in Nigeria in response to another ineffective police reform committee set up by the government. Between 2008 and 2011, Okechukwu Nwanguma organized public tribunals on police abuse in Nigeria to testify before a panel of eminent Nigerians. For 18 years, he worked for Civil Liberties Organization in Nigeria monitoring, documenting and denouncing human rights abuses in law enforcement. He spoke with Reporters, on crime wave in Lagos State, efforts made to reduce it and other related issues. Excerpts:


There are reports that crime wave has abated in Lagos State. What’s your honest assessment?

I have not seen the report but from anecdotal evidence including opinions expressed by most Lagosians and citizens across the country and from reports I read in the media, it’s evident that the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal has broken new grounds in crime control in Lagos State. +Particularly striking for me is the fact that he’s doing so much and achieving so much without much collateral damage.

He’s mindful of the need to respect and protect human rights. He’s scrupulous in dealing with erring police officers whose conduct may smear the image of the force. Edgal is an exceptional police officer who understands requirements in a modern democracy. He recognizes the imperative of public trust, partnership and accountability in accomplishing the task.

The police cannot succeed without public trust and cooperation. That’s why he engages communities through town hall meetings where complaints against police officers bordering on corruption and abuse are punished. In short, Imohimi Edgal is promoting transparent, accountable and responsible policing in Lagos State. He’s my ideal police officer and I wish other senior police officers in the Nigeria Police Force would emulate him. If a n officer like Imohimi Edgal is at the top leadership of the Nigeria Police Force, a lot would be easier for our policemen, our country and our democracy. Particularly commendable is the positioning of police teams at strategic locations where citizens can reach them for prompt action. Dedicated phone numbers are also available for citizens to make reports to the police with ease and without fear of intimidation.

In what ways can the CP improve the command to make Lagos State safer?

He needs to relentlessly liaise with human rights groups to enlighten police officers in Lagos in the community policing process.

Is it remotely possible that the executive arm of the government uses the police to undermine other arms of government? When the executive arm of government overreaches itself by exerting undue control over security agencies and uses them to harass, intimidate and undermine other arms of government, then it’s a serious cause for concern in a democracy. When security forces are manipulated to frame allegations against heads of other arms of government in a bid to harass, blackmail and attempt to whip them “into line” in the political interest of the president and his political party, then there is serious cause for concern in a democracy. For instance, the siege on the residences of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 are clear acts of abuse of power and sheer brigandage.

Are you concerned by the conduct of security agencies?

We are concerned about actions of security agencies including the Police seeking to confine the Senate leadership to their homes to prevent them from satiating the requirements of their offices which amounts to interference with the functioning of this important arm of government and threatens our democracy. You can then imagine what ordinary Nigerians go through on a daily basis if highly placed and privileged government officials could suffer this level of harassment and intimidation.It’s notable that the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, denied allegations that the IGP ordered the police invasion and siege on the Senate President’s residence.

We also note his claim that the IGP has ordered investigation into the incident. It will be interesting to know the outcome of the investigation into this unprovoked aggression and clearly unprofessional conduct. It’s safe to conclude that these unconstitutional and anti-democratic tendencies of security agencies were endorsed by President Muhammadu Buhari in whose interest the masterminds purport to act, hence it’s needless to ask him to rein in the various security agencies in their use of state aparatus for partisan purposes.

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Don’t you think the police and other security agencies should investigate financial crimes like bribery and money laundering?

While we encourage security agencies to investigate alleged bribery, money laundering or any other crime in the legislature and the judiciary, President Buhari should not give the impression that these ills are peculiar to the other arms of government . Hounding political opponents with security agencies in the guise of fighting corruption is immoral and cowardly.

The president cannot be fighting corruption in the judiciary and legislature while condoning it in the executive and especially, within the Presidency. Nigerians and the international community must take President Buhari up on these issues and also prevail on the Nigerian Police Force to stay out of politics and support democracy.

Okechukwu Nwanguma of NOPPRIN

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Customs Corner

Arewa Economic Forum Declares Support For Ag. CGC Bashir Adewale Adeniyi



By Muhammad Bashir

Author: Muhammad Bashir, Abuja

…As Customs CG Vows to Enhance Trade Facilitation, Rejuvenates Northern Inland Dry Ports

The Chairman of Arewa Economic Forum (AEF), Ibrahim Shehu Dandakata, has said the Acting Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, has solid support for the Forum, considering his notable commitment to enhance border security and trade facilitation in the North.

Dandakata made this known on Tuesday, 26 September 2023, shortly after they met with the Ag. CGC at the Customs Headquarters, Abuja — emphasizing that “his commitment to implement policies that will improve the region is one hundred percent absolute.”

The Chairman, who eulogized the Former Comptroller-General of Customs, Late Dikko Inde, for bringing numerous dividends to the region, expressed optimism that the current administration of Ag. CGC Adewale Adeniyi will exceed what the previous CGCs have done, “we raised an issue, and Mr Adeniyi quickly swung into action on the matter, and we had a great response.” he added.

He said, “We are talking about fiscal policies and entrenchment of a regime that will create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in Northern Nigeria, most especially in the agricultural sector; therefore, what CGC Adeniyi is doing will be sustainable and far-reaching.”

During the meeting at the CGC’s office, the Chairman appreciated the Ag. CGC for taking progressive steps to make things better in the North, highlighting that “Nigeria now has a very responsive government, and AEF is proud to have a very responsive CGC.”

According to him, the idea behind visiting the Ag. CGC was to bring new ideas that will help his administration to succeed, adding that the Forum is looking forward to witnessing the enhancement of cross-border trade in Ilela, considering its magnitude in boosting the region’s economy.

He, however, pleaded with the Ag. CGC to look into the conditions of Inland Dry Ports in the North, which, according to him, “are essential in carrying out businesses in the region – and as it stands, they’re not functioning.”

The Chairman also seized the opportunity to invite the Ag. CGC for an Economic Summit slated to take place before the end of the year, assuring that the summit will revolve around creating awareness for people to invest in the North.

Responding, the Ag. Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, says his administration is up and doing to enhance trade in the North, considering its importance in boosting Nigeria’s economy and prosperity.

The Ag. CGC, who spoke about the current situation in the Niger Republic and how it affects trade in Nigeria, also said that “considering the significance of trade in Northern Nigeria, the Nigeria Customs Service finds it interesting to engage in trade talks, but can be achieved when there’s absolute peace in the area.”

He assured the entourage of Customs’ commitment to look into the matter of Inland Ports and consult the Federal Government to fast-track the process, adding that “Customs is willing to support the situation.”

As regards the Forum’s forthcoming Summit, the Ag. CGC said that NCS will watch out for the Economic Summit to attend, adding that “there’s so much economic potential in the North, which, if revamped, will contribute to the development of the country’s economy.”

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Customs Corner

A Deeper Dive into the Impactful Journey of Acting CGC Adewale Adeniyi



A Deeper Dive into the Impactful Journey of Acting CGC Adewale Adeniyi

The announcement of Bashir Adewale Adeniyi’s appointment as the Acting Comptroller General of Customs for the Nigeria Customs Service while he was on an official assignment at the World Customs Organization (WCO) Policy Commission and Council Session in Brussels was met with jubilation, not just among Customs officers but also by Nigerians and the international community. This move has injected fresh hope into the organization and raised expectations for transformative leadership.

Adeniyi’s rise to this pivotal position is a testament to his unwavering commitment to his career, which spans an impressive three decades. His journey began with remarkable promise, and he consistently proved himself through dedication and excellence. From his early days as the Customs Public Relations Officer to his significant roles at the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College in Gwagwalada, Abuja, Adeniyi steadily built a reputation for outstanding performance.

His appointment as Acting Comptroller General was no coincidence; it was the culmination of a career marked by dedication and professionalism. His leadership style has been characterized by a hands-on approach. From the outset, he embarked on a tour of Customs Formations, emphasizing his commitment to improving customs operations and national security.

Adeniyi’s dedication to his official responsibilities and beyond is extraordinary. He has flagged off projects to expand office and residential accommodations, warehouse facilities, and a model college for training and retraining of officers. These initiatives underscore his commitment to the growth and modernization of the Customs Service, departing from conventional leadership approaches.

But what truly sets Adeniyi apart is his integrity. He has garnered numerous awards and recognitions, including the National Honour of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) and Fellowship of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations. His decisive actions, such as the seizure of $8,065, 612 million at Murtala Mohammed International Airport while he was an Area Controller, have solidified his reputation for fearless and effective leadership.

His competence and qualifications are beyond question. He has actively participated in numerous Customs-related summits and meetings worldwide, gaining invaluable expertise and knowledge of customs operations. This extensive experience positions him as a highly qualified leader for the organization.

Adeniyi’s vision extends into the future, with a strong emphasis on technology and innovation. He envisions a Customs Service that fully embraces technological advancements, emphasizing data gathering, mapping techniques, and satellite imagery to enhance operations. His plans for collaboration with technology institutions promise to usher in a new era of efficiency.

Furthermore, Adeniyi’s commitment to the welfare of Customs Service staff has been unwavering. He has worked diligently to address long-standing issues and improve conditions for officers and employees, reinvigorating the Service and earning widespread appreciation.

Adeniyi’s leadership extends beyond the confines of his office. He has actively engaged with government establishments and executives across the federation, fostering cooperation and achieving tangible results. His dedication to President Bola Ahmad Tinubu’s success is evident, and his hands-on approach to leadership is commendable.

In the months ahead, Nigerians can anticipate the positive impacts of Adeniyi’s leadership. His tenure promises increased business activity, facilitated trade, reduced smuggling, enhanced revenue generation, and increased foreign investment, which will benefit the country and its youth.

In conclusion, as some seek to obstruct progress for their personal gain, it is crucial for Nigerians to rally behind the positive changes Adeniyi is bringing to the Nigeria Customs Service. His leadership is a beacon of hope, and we must collectively reject the efforts of economic saboteurs and opportunists who seek to disrupt our nation’s growth and progress.

Muhammad Bashir, a public affairs analyst writes from Abuja

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Customs Corner

Comptroller Senas Ukpanah Resumes as CAC, Enugu/Anambra/Ebonyi Customs Area Command, Charges Officers on Synergy, Discipline.



omptroller Senas Ukpanah Resumes as CAC, Enugu/Anambra/Ebonyi Customs Area Command, Charges Officers on Synergy, Discipline.

Author: Vivian Daniel, Abuja

Following her assumption of duty as the Customs Area Controller (CAC) of Enugu/Anambra/Ebonyi Area Command, Comptroller Comfort Senas Ukpanah has charged Officers and men of the Command to be ready to walk the talk with her in moving the Command forward.

She made the appeal in her welcome speech at the Enugu/Anambra/Ebonyi Area Command’s Conference Hall on September 15, 2023, while taking over the Command’s helm of affairs from Comptroller Adebola Mumeen Adegbite, who also resumed as CAC of Edo/Delta Area Command.

“I urge you all to gear up for the task ahead, a task of transformation of the Command through a core cardinal program, centred on discipline/codes of conduct, revenue collection, facilitation of legitimate trade, inter-agency collaboration and synergy, as well as stakeholder’s engagement,” she said.

She also charged all Senior Officers to redouble their efforts in all areas of the Command’s operation to enable the Command to meet and surpass its Revenue target. The CAC drew their attention to the Key Performance Indicator (KPI), Revenue and charged Officers to ensure that areas of Revenue leakages are identified and blocked, especially now that the Federal Government relies so much on Customs for GDP growth.

Meanwhile, the outgoing Comptroller, Adebola Mumeen Adegbite, spoke about the Command’s achievements during his administration. He stated that the Command generated 17 billion naira from January to date.

Comptroller Adebola Mumeen Adegbite also eulogised the Officers of the Command for their support during his leadership and the stakeholders who came for the occasion while calling on them to redouble the same support for the new Controller – Comptroller Comfort Senas Ukpanah, whom he described as “a core professional and highly disciplined officer.”

The new Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Comfort Senas Ukpanah, also spoke on the need for training and retraining to enable Officers to be at par with the latest operational developments in the service, especially in the areas of ICT given the imminent full automation of Customs processes and procedures. She also spoke on the need for Senior Officers to mentor the junior ones in line with the theme of the 2023 International Customs Day (ICD).

In her response, the CAC appreciated the outgoing Controller’s leadership abilities, which led to his accomplishments.

Comptroller Comfort Senas Ukpanah applauded the appointment of the Ag. Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, which she described as well-deserved and while addressing other Senior Officers in the Command, she highlighted her agenda towards a better and efficient Service within her Area of Responsibility (AoR) alongside her core cardinal programs, which will centre on discipline/code of conduct; revenue collection, facilitation of legitimate trade; inter-agency collaboration and synergy, as well as stakeholder engagement.

Furthermore, the CAC reiterated the need for the Officers to pay close attention to the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) of Revenue Generation and cautioned officers to block all avenues for revenue leakages.

The new Area Controller also harps on training and retraining officers, especially in the area of ICT, to align with the automation mantra of Customs processes and procedures.

She also stressed the need for Senior Officers to mentor the junior ones as it relates to the theme of the 2023 International Customs Day celebrated every 26 of January, “Nurturing the Next Generation: Promoting a Culture of Knowledge-sharing and Professional Pride in Customs”.

Comptroller Comfort Senas Ukpanah hails from Mbio-Oku Ikot odung, Ikono Local Government Area of Akwa-Ibom State, Nigeria, and she is a graduate of Chemistry from the University of Calabar.

She was enlisted into the Nigeria Customs Service as a Cadet Officer in 1990 and had her basic training at the Nigeria Customs Service Training College, Ikeja, in 1991. She rose through different ranks and became a full Comptroller in 2022.

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