Ogun Indigenes accuse security agents of aiding smuggling of petrol to Benin via Imeko
Indigenes of Imeko Afon Local Government area of Ogun State have accused security agents of aiding illegal export of petroleum products from Nigeria to Benin Republic.
The indigenes, who released a secret video to Slim Xclusive, alleged that ‘powerful’ individuals from the area are involved in the illegal business by bribing security agents who are involved in the ongoing border closure exercise.
Recall that the Federal Government of Nigeria said the border closure policy had saved the nation more than 11million litres of petrol in few days.
However, revelations by indigenes of Imeko-Afon, if true, might disrupt the efforts of the Federal Government in preventing illegal bunkering.
But the Nigeria Customs Service said no tanker of fuel could go through Ilara or any other border out of Nigeria.
In the 1:51minutes video released to Slim Xclusive, fuel tankers were seen, allegedly moving out of Nigeria to Benin Republic through Ilara border at night.
Voices were also heard in the video accusing the Nigeria Customs Service, the police, the army and the DSS of having been bribed before those tankers loaded with fuel were allowed to export same from Nigeria illegally.
Their complaint was that the smuggling of fuel, allegedly being abetted by the security agents at the border posts in Imeko Afon, has brought about scarcity of the commodity in the area.
Slim Xclusive observed that the matter is a very sensitive one in the border community as nobody was ready to talk about it.
For fear of persecution, important figures from Ilara declined comments when our correspondent approached them on the issue.
An anonymous source, who spoke with Slim Xclusive said politicians and personalities from the area were those involved in the act, saying “anybody who loves himself will not try to face these people.”
The source, however, refused to mention names of those involved in the illicit act.
Contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Ogun 1 Command, Abdullahi Maiwada, debunked the allegations, describing it as baseless and unfounded.
Maiwada on Tuesday said those making the allegations from Imeko Afon Local Government are insincere.
He recalled that they have once accused the NCS and other security agents involved in the border closure operation, of preventing fuel from getting to their borders, wondering what to believe this time.
He faulted the authenticity of the video, maintaining there was no evidence to authenticate the claim.
His words: “The Nigeria Customs Service is not saddled with the responsibility of monitoring tankers to their filling stations. It is the DPR that licensed those filling stations at the border areas that have that responsibility. Ours is to check and confirm if you have a waybill that is going to a licensed filling station. If you have, we cannot stop you. We can only stop you when we see you going out of Nigeria.
“Nobody can move a tanker out of Nigeria; it is not possible. Ilara is a border area and there are licensed filling stations. If they are taking tankers to these filling stations, we don’t have the power to confiscate their products, we can only act at a point they’re taking it out of Nigeria.
“The other time, when we were so strict on them, they said we stopped petroleum products from getting to Ilara and Imeko. Now we have allowed them to take their fuel to Ilara and Imeko, in those filling stations that are licensed, they said we are allowing it to be smuggled out of Nigeria. Which one do we follow? You need to know how the demarcations are, between Ilara and Benin Republic.”
Speaking about the video, Maiwada said, “how sure are you the video is authentic? How sure are we the video was recorded at the point of crossing the border. Some of these people are insincere.”