Benchmark Fallout: Amiwero Detained


National President of National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Mr. Lucky Eyis Amiwero is still being held as at press time by men of the Nigeria Customs Service.

Amiwero predicament may not be unconnected to his recent petition to the National Assembly over the benchmarking regime.

Industry watchers believe that the NSC is using the tool of the lingering leadership crisis in the NCMDLCA to nail him.

The NCMDLCA leadership crisis may have taken a turn for the worse when heavily-armed operatives of the NCS Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ arrested Amiwero, allegedly over a petition by another factional National President, Mr. Festus Osaji Ejiofor.

P.M.Maritime gathered that Ejiofor had in a petition to the Customs accused Amiwero of allegedly using the name of the association to write in opposition to the Service and parading himself as the substantive NCMDLCA President, when, according to the petitioner, the long-standing case of who the substantive president is, is still pending in court.

It was learnt that the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, had allegedly directed the Assistant Legal Adviser attached to the Customs FOU Zone ‘A’ to invite Amiwero for interrogation based on Ejofor’s petition.

Customs sources claimed that in response to the petition against Amiwero, officers of the unit visited his office located at Trinity, along the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Lagos, to invite him for questioning, but that he refused to honour the invitation.

“There was a petition against him from the National Council of Managing Directors. We invited him for questioning, but he tried to resist the invitation and, consequently, it became very violent. He attempted and eventually snatched the official pistol from the arresting officer, threatening to shoot the officer, and as a result, he was arrested,” the source said.

The source added that Amiwero was unharmed in the scuffle.

Giving a different version of the matter, sources close to Amiwero strongly disputed that he had either resisted arrest or attempted to or disarmed the arresting officer.

The sources claimed that Amiwero was having breakfast in the office when a number of fierce-looking Customs personnel invaded the office, manhandling Amiwero, leaving him bloodied, before whisking him away.

—Esther Komolafe

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