A Federal High Court, Lagos, on Tuesday, ordered the forfeiture to the Federal Government, containers loaded with restricted drugs, confiscated by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).
Justice Saliu Saidu issued the order, following an exparte application filed by counsel to the NCS Mr Bisi Ogunlowo, seeking forfeiture of the goods.
Arguing his application, counsel brought his application pursuant to order 26, rule 8(1) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009 and sections 167 and 169(1) of the NCS Management Act 2004.
NCS sought an order, forfeiting the content of the containers as listed in the schedules to its application marked “A”, and annexed to the affidavit in support of the motion.
After listening to the submissions of counsel, Justice Saidu held: “I have listened to the submission of the counsel as well as gone through the affidavit in support of the application and the written address as well as the attached exhibits.
“The application is hereby granted as prayed”.
In its affidavit, the applicant avered that in the course of carrying out its official duties, customs personnel between Feb.20 and Sept. 28, intercepted all the goods itemised in the schedule to the application, from smugglers.
The deponent stated that the owners and their collaborators at all times material to the seizure of the goods, committed acts of fraudulent evasion of customs duty, concealment of goods and an outright act of smuggling of goods into Nigeria.
According to the deponent, when the goods were intercepted, the owners escaped, for fear of being arrested and prosecuted by the authority.
NCS, therefore, sought a court’s order forfeiting same to the Federal Government.
By our Correspondent