Comptroller General, minister face contempt charge
A contempt charge has been brought against the Board Chairman of Customs, who is also the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, and the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Ahmed Ali (rtd), in Calabar. The Nigerian Customs had on March 18, 2017 sealed up a warehouse belonging to Maggpiy Trading TFZE on the ground that the company imported rice, which the law prohibits. In response, the company dragged the Board Chairman, the Comptroller General and the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, to court, seeking the release of the goods.
Counsels to the plaintiff, Edidiong Usungudua and Prince Wekekayo Ekpe, had applied that the court give an order to the defendants to unseal the warehouse and allow the plaintiffs remove its 22 containers of rice for which custom duty had been paid.
While granting the order, the court ordered the claimants to furnish it with a bank guarantee of N100 million in favour of the Federal Government, so that if the order of court made on December 15, 2017 that the goods be released was in error, the claimant would forfeit the sum.
The Federal High Court in Calabar, presided by Justice Inyang Ekwo, had on December 15 ordered that Customs release the goods, but by January 29, 2018, when the defendants had not complied, the plaintiff complained to the court, since the N100 million had been guaranteed.
The case was adjourned till April 23.
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