Sacked Customs Officer Stages Protest over Failure of NCS to Reinstate Him

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Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan

A Marine Inspector of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Bamiloye Temitope Abiodun, at the weekend in Ibadan, Oyo State, staged a one-man protest walk against what he described as his alleged wrongful dismissal by the NCS since 2016 and the refusal of the authorities of the service to reinstate him after investigation cleared and directed his reinstatement.

Bamiloye, who walked with placards from Iwo Road axis enroute Idi-Ape to Agodi area of the state capital city, said he was shocked that even the recommendation by the House of Representatives among other bodies to reinstate him after investigations were carried out on the allegations against him was jettisoned and disregarded by the management of the NCS, seven months after.

The embattled officer, who was employed into the Service in February 2009, while speaking in an emotional-laden voice, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to wade into his matter, pleading that the matter has continued to affect his well-being.

The inscriptions on the two placards which he strapped around himself read: ‘I plead with the Nigeria Customs Service to reinstate me after three years’, ‘CG, minister, kindly yield to the resolution of House of Reps’.

Among the documents Bamiloye made available to journalists was a copy of a letter to the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives in Abuja, dated November 22, 2016, and titled: ‘Petition against the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for my wrongful dismissal: Inspector of Customs (Marine)’, while serving at the Eastern Marine Command, Abonnema Wharf station in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Bamiloye, who had spent eight years in the service, prayed the National Assembly to “review, reverse and completely annul the decision of the NCS” on his dismissal, pleading for his immediate reinstatement and for accorded upgrading.

His letter, according to him, was laid on the floor of the House on December 12, 2016. This was followed by its first hearing on March 22, 2017; second hearing in May 16, 2017, while the report was also laid on June 7, 2018, just as the report was tendered for consideration on October 10, 2018.

The Committee set up by the eighth Assembly and chaired by Hon Uzoma Nkem-Abonta and had Omale Anthony as its clerk had urged the NCS through the Comptroller-General to reinstate Bamiloye, though without payment of arrears.

The committee’s recommendation titled: ‘Under 6.2 of the report’ stated that “the committee recommends the House to urge the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service to reinstate the petitioner (Bamiloye) without payment of the arrears.

This was followed by a letter addressed to the Comptroller-General dated June 26, 2019, received and signed for at the office of the CG on July 15, 2019.

The letter written and signed by the Clerk to the National Assembly, M.A. Sani-Omolori, titled: ‘Report of the committee on public petitions on the petition by Bamiloye Temitope Abiodun against the Nigeria Customs Service on his wrongful dismissal from service as a Marine Inspector of Customs’ read: “The House of Representatives on April 10, 2019, considered the above report and consequently resolved to urge the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service to reinstate Bamiloye without the payment of his arrears.

 “This letter communicates the above resolution of the House to you for further necessary action. A copy of the votes and proceedings of May 30, 2019, is attached to this letter for your guidance.”

Bamiloye then called on President Buhari to urge the Comptroller-General to reinstate him without further delay and help save his career in the Customs and life from further ruins.