The Chairman, Senate Committee on Cus­toms, Excise and Tar­iff, Senatpr Hope Uzodinma, has denied any link with the seizure of 30 containers by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) as alleged in some me­dia reports.
He disclosed this to jour­nalists in Abuja on Tuesday.
The lawmaker was reacting to some online publications alleging that he was mount­ing pressure on the NCS’ Comptroller-General, Col. Hammed Ali (rtd) to release containers of smuggled rice imported as yeast.
He explained that contrary to the reports, the letter sent to the Nigeria Customs Ser­vice was based on a petition by one Masters Energy Com­modities Trading Limited to the Committee he chaired.
According to him, with the power reposed in the legis­lature to among other things attend to concerns of Nigeri­ans, the Committee decided to play its part.
He explained that in No­vember last year, the Com­mittee received a petition from Masters Energy Com­modities Trading Limited Company alleging that 30 containers of rice imported by them was seized by the NCS even when they paid the duties and the assessments were done by the Customs and needed the Senate inter­vention.
“The Customs reacted through a letter sent to the Committee November 25, 2016, confirming that the rice was imported and that it was seized because it was not de­clared according to the right classification.
“When I got that letter, to my surprise, the tone of the response was suggesting a kind of innuendo as if our letter was for them to release the rice. - The Authority