According to Barr. Okwudili Alagbu of Okwudili Alagbu & Co, who said he had petitioned the Comptroller General of Customs on behalf of his client, Messrs Elopetz Resources Limited, the consignments are three different containers laden with glass beer mugs, with the following numbers: TRLU8190033, TCLU5464240 and TGHU8550660.
These containers, it was gathered, had “successfully and satisfactorily undergone customs clearing formalities at the Tin-can Island Port, precisely Ports and Cargo Terminal and were accordingly exited as evidenced by the goods “Exit Note” as issued”.
While the empty boxes of the looted containers are still lying at the Ikorodu terminal, Alagbu said, “as we speak the Nigeria Customs Service has contemptuously told my client to sue them”.
In his petition, the importer explained that the physical exiting of the containers was delayed by the challenges in handling the demurrage from the shipping company and terminal operator occasioned by the shippers’ delay in sending the Bill of Lading with the result that the containers were eventually transferred to the government warehouse in Ikorodu as overtime cargoes.
Following this, “the containers, had to undergo another round of clearing, this time around, referred to as overtime clearing, in the process of which the containers were examined for a second time by the officers of the Ikorodu terminal.
Fortunately, the report of the second examination corresponded with the report on the first examination”.
“However, instead of exiting the containers after the completion of the overtime clearing formalities, the Customs Area Controller in charge of Ikorodu terminal opted to revert to Tin-can Island Customs Command to confirm payment of customs duty even though the original customs clearing documents have been shown to him which would have facilitated an on-line confirmation of payment.” But the clearing of the containers got stuck at the point of confirmation of payment as the importer had to wait for several months without luck.