A powerful human drama unfolded at the front gate of a Customs bonded terminal when a Valuation Officer identified as Assistant Compt. Charles slapped an agent twice and pointed a pistol at him, threatening to shot him for attempting to exit three television sets from the terminal which have already been released by the officer in charge another Asst. Compt. Modi Atiku but he (the Valuation Officer) claims was under valued.
MMS Plus gathered that trouble began when the Valuation Officer, MAS Global Express and Logistics Terminal located along Badagry express way, resumed from his Salah break and examined a consignment that was released during his absence rather than raise a Debit Note after his examination and assessed under valuation, he decided to further delay the job and when the agent, Mr. Lawrence Onyeukwu waited and the Officer was not forthcoming he decided to move the items out of the premises only to be stopped at the gate by the slaps of Charles and the nozzle of the officer’s gun to his face to the consternation of onlookers.
At the end of it all, Charles was persuaded to release the cargo and the following day Lawrence was made to part with N50,000 to appease the Officer.
MMS Plus further gathered that the Chief Executive Officer of the terminal, Mr. Timothy Awogbemi who was not around when the incident occurred, after he was briefed by his workers summoned the agent and asked him to write a petition against the unruly Officer, because the agent appeared reluctant to do his bidding, he subsequently banned him from entering his terminal, labelling him a ‘tout’ even when he was aware that the agent had two pending jobs.
The agent who is a member of the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders, Nigeria, sort the intervention of the association and the Chairman of the PTML Chapter, Mr. Lucky Oboh along with some of his executives paid a visit to the terminal last week.
While speaking to MMS Plus on arriving at the terminal, Lucky explained “we are here to see the terminal owner to find out why he had to stop our member from doing his business here and perhaps, see how we can resolve all issues amicably.”
Despite the arguments raised by the association members, the discussions reached a deadlock as the terminal owner refused to refrain from his ban on the agent.
According to Timothy, “on no account should he (the agent) enter my terminal to do business, the terminal belongs to me and i have the right to choose who i want to do business with, i have decided that rather than have him here i am prepared to go to court to stop him because i don’t like his character.
“I will only permit him to finish the pending jobs he has now but subsequently, he should tell his importers to take their cargo to another terminal or he should give me the documents and i will process it for him but i don’t want to see him here and you cannot force him on me or i will go to court.” He insisted.
At the time of filling this report the AC Charles was not on seat as he was said to be out of town.