According to reports, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has sacked 29 senior officers for “compromising the national economy”.
Last week, the service sacked 17 junior officers for drug abuse, bribery and forgery.
In a statement on Thursday, Wale Adeniyi, spokesman of the service, said the senior officers were sacked after a disciplinary panel found them guilty of offences bordering on corruption and theft.
“Twenty-nine senior officers of the Nigeria Customs Service have been dismissed for various acts of gross misconduct. The dismissed officers are among forty-four (44) senior officers who were punished for actions capable of compromising national economy and security,” he said.
“Ten other officers were retired from service, while the appointment of one was terminated. Four officers were given written warnings to be of better conduct while another four officers who were investigated and tried for some offences were exonerated.”
Adeniyi explained that “four of the officers who got the hammer were of the rank of deputy-comptroller; five – assistant-comptroller; seven – chief superintendent, and four – superintendent, among others.”
He said the process leading to the actions taken on the officers was painstaking and in line with the public service rules (PSR).
“All the officers were served with queries indicating offences committed, before they made appearances before the special investigation committee. The committee’s recommendation was discussed and approved by the customs management,” Adeniyi added.
“The recommendation was thereafter referred to the presidency for ratification, in the absence of a substantive board for the Nigeria Customs Service. All the officers affected in the exercise have been communicated accordingly.
“The comptroller-general warned officers that punitive sanctions will continue to be used to discipline officers who refuse to embrace change.
“Officers affected in this exercise were investigated for involvement in improper examination and release of containers without proper documentation and payment of duties, illegal release of goods in advance before the arrival of vessels, collection of bribe to release prohibited items, release of export prohibitions, fraudulent sale of seized items, use of fake certificates and bribery to secure auctioned goods.”