The Nigeria Customs Service has arraigned two men before an Ikeja Chief Magistrate’s Court for allegedly smuggling 27 bags of rice and a vehicle from Cotonou, Benin Republic, into the country.
The defendants, Rashidi Oyedeji and Sheyi Shuaib, were arraigned on four counts of smuggling prohibited items on Tuesday.
While Oyedeji was accused of smuggling the 27 bags of rice, Shuaib was accused of smuggling a Nissan Primera.
The charge read in part, “That you, Rashidi Oyedeji, of Igbala Street, Aboro, Alakuko, Lagos State, on Thursday, October 13, 2016, at about 10.49am within the jurisdiction of this court at Alakuko/Kola junction landed in Nigeria goods of 27 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50 kilogrammes with the intent of evading the prohibition imposed by customs and excise laws.
“That you did assault customs officers duly engaged in the performance of the duty conferred on them by the customs and excise laws; impeded the detention, seizure or removal of a Volkswagen Vento car, liable to forfeiture under the customs and excise laws.”
The customs team of prosecutors, Badejobi David, Queennette Gbe and Ibeneme Chinyeke, said the offences were contrary to sections 11(a)(b) and 47(1)(a)(ii) of the Customs and Excise Management Act C45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and elected summary trial.
The Chief Magistrate, Y.A. Aje-Afunwa, admitted Oyedeji and Shuaib to bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties each in like sum.
She said the sureties must provide evidence of tax payments to the Lagos State Government and one of them must have a landed property in the state.
The case was adjourned till February 15, 2017.