Adekunle Oloyode, Area Comptroller of the Nigeria Customs Service, TinCan Island Command, Lagos, has revealed how some clearing agents forged his signature to clear imported cars.
Briefing journalists on the half-year report of the command, Oloyede said the agents wanted to clear four trucks and some cars.
He said the suspects, who were arrested, will be prosecuted eventually, even though they had been granted administrative bail.
He said, “We discovered an incident of forgery of the signature of the area controller, which is why you have this here. The standard procedure for the clearance of non-standard vehicles identification number is that the CAC must approve the use of that particular code. So, their papers were still on my table but they went ahead to forge my signature on another application.
“They were trying to escape and get out of the terminal. The officers that were supposed to release the goods were vigilant enough because I sent to all the terminals a sample of my signature. So, these four trucks belong to four different people and they actually forged my signature. They were apprehended and locked up for some time, but for the sake of human rights, they are on administrative bail for now. But as we go ahead, definitely, we are going to prosecute them.”
According to him, the command had strengthened the risk management structure to mitigate the consistent attempts by some non-complaint agents to abuse the process through acts of commercial fraud.
“At the command level, we faced challenges at the early stages of the deployment due to the degrees of understanding of the process, most especially on the part of stakeholders.”
“Nevertheless, we have been able to overcome them as we put into force Article 2 of the trade facilitation agreement through continuous engagement and consultations with the relevant stakeholders which led to updates and upgrades of the service to address some of these challenges,” he said.