Maritime police have debunked rumours that it intended to take bribe when they reportedly blocked a container at Apapa ports, saying that it was put on hold due to intelligence report received by the command.
Maritime Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olatunde Sadik, in a statement said the Force has no immune territory and since containers do not enjoy diplomatic immunity, they would investigate all complaints and reports on their merit and culprits brought to book in pursuant to police power of arrest as enshrined in the Constitution.
According to the spokesman, the statement made by the agent of the container on behalf of the consignee and bill of lading gave the contents of the container to be Toyota T100 1998 model, Toyota Rav4 1997 model, Toyota Sienna 2002 model and Honda pilot 2007 model.
He said: “This is contrary to Federal Government directive that only vehicles of 15 years from date of manufacture are allowed into the country.
“A duty of N1,202, 623 was paid on the four vehicles, excluding the concealment as corroborated in the statement of the agent to the Police.
“Even though the first two vehicles cannot be valued due to the Federal Government policy on importation of used vehicles into the country as captured in the Import Prohibition Goods, 2018.
“It is noteworthy that in ensuring the ease of doing business at the ports, the command upon inception of this administration, streamlined investigation into cases at port and ports environment, as all other formations must submit their petitions to the command.
“Only the Maritime Police Command interfaces with the shipping companies. As that is how the plethora of allegations, petitions and reports to the various Police formations by members of the public can best be handled.
“In area of jurisdiction, the Nigeria Police Force has no immune territory and since containers do not enjoy diplomatic immunity, all complaints and reports will be investigated on their merit and culprits brought to book, in pursuant to the Police power of arrest as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution and Schedule 4 of the Harmonised Standard Operating Procedure, HSOP, of arrest, detention and prosecution of vessels and persons in Nigeria’s maritime environment 2016.”
“Cases of economic sabotage against the Nigeria state,” the police spokesman continued, “will not be treated with kid gloves.”