The of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Thursday said that it had released former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s “My Watch” autobiography container.
The NCS Comptroller-General, Alhaji Dikko Abdullahi, made the disclosure to newsmen when he inaugurated two new patrol boats of the service in Lagos.
Abdullahi said that the container was released following the vacation of an FCT High Court order restraining the former president from publishing, printing or offering for sale, his autobiography: “My Watch’’ on Tuesday.
“Customs got the initial order of the court to stop the container and now that the court asks us to release the container, so be it,’’ he said.
Justice Valentine Ashi had ordered the release of the books which had been in the custody of customs.
Ashi, in a ruling, upheld the argument by Obasanjo’s counsel, Kanu Agabi (SAN), that the court was misled into granting the orders on Dec. 5 and Dec.10, 2014.
The court had granted the orders on Dec. 5, 2014, restraining Obasanjo from publishing his book in the country pending the determination of suit against him by Buruji Kashamu.
Despite the order of Dec. 5, Obasanjo proceeded to launch the book on Dec. 9 in Lagos, a development that prompted the court to make the orders of Dec. 10.
Ashi also restrained the comptroller-general from charging demurrage on copies of the book already confiscated.
Abdullahi described the new patrol boats acquired by the service as equipment needed to perform its exemplary functions in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda for the service to excel.
He said it took two years to build the boats, adding that the customs supervised the construction of the boats to meet it specification.
“We have two boats for now. We will watch their performance and see if there is need to have more. With the performance of the boats government will not hesitate to give us more money to buy more,’’ he said.
He recalled that one of the boats was named after nine customs officers killed some years ago by smugglers of petrol on the high sea while they were on official duty.
“It is a bad memory. Nine of my officers were really killed on the high sea by smugglers who were carrying petrol. My officers tried to intercept in between and they turned their boat against customs and they jumped into water, the two patrol boats went into flames. We tried to rescue them, unfortunately, we could not. These are officers who died on official duty. I am proud to say that today we have remembered them,’’ Abdullahi said.
Abdullahi said service had tried as much as possible to cover all revenue leakages and live up to its revenue targets.