The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday adopted a resolution to investigate the alleged abuse of firearms by operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
The resolution was the aftermath of a motion sponsored by the senator representing Katsina Central senatorial district, Abdulaziz Yar’Adua, decrying the alleged killing of citizens in Kastina State by arms-bearing Customs officers.
YarAdua, in a motion titled “Urgent Need to Investigate the Abuse of Firearms by Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, in Katsina State,” claimed there have been incessant cases of killings in the state. He termed the situation unacceptable while calling for proper training of officers in the use of firearms.
He said Customs officers are allowed to bear arms, to effectively counter the activities of smugglers, who have recently become emboldened in their attacks on customs personnel, in many cases using sophisticated weapons.
According to him, operatives of NCS were expected to be civil in their handling of Nigerians, but have unfortunately resorted to killings. He recalled how the immediate past governor of Katsina State threatened to sue NCS over killings in the state.
He further cited the example of Customs officers at a location near Gorar Yammama Highway who shot indiscriminately at the vehicle conveying the Chief of Staff to the governor with other aides and close family members.
Senate President Godswill Akpabio, in consideration of the motion, constituted a committee to be chaired by Senator Francis Fadahunsi.
In his remark, Akpabio said the Senate must look at the issue holistically, adding that the resort to killing innocent citizens would not be acceptable henceforth.
Other members of the committee include senators Shuaibu Lau (PDP, Taraba), Kawu Sumaila (NNPP), Tony Nwoye (LP, Anambra), Umar Sadiq (APC, Kwara), Akpan Samson (PDP, Akwa Ibom), Solomon Adeola (APC, Ogun), Abdulaziz Yar’Adua (APC, Katsina), Olajide Emmanuel (APC, Ondo), Mohammed Muntari (APC, Katsina), and Napoleon Bali (PDP, Plateau).
They were required to submit their report to the Committee of the Whole in six weeks.