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Customs impounds 2,820 donkey skins worth N48m in Kebbi


By Ibrahim Bello

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) in Kebbi has impounded 2,820 donkey skins worth N48 million.

The Command’s Area Controller, Mr Joseph Attah, made this known in Birnin Kebbi on Friday while handing over the donkey skins to officials of the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service.

He said the items were impounded based on credible intelligence on June 2, at about 4.00 a.m. around Bahindi-Dogon Rimi Waterside in Bagudo Local Government Area.

“The Command’s Rapid Response team rushed to the area, upon approaching the described location, the patrol team sighted a huge covered mound of loads near the river bank.

“The team discovered that the covered mound was sacks of donkey skins carefully arranged, awaiting a boat for onward smuggling out of the country,” he said.

Attah added that the items were evacuated from the location and brought to the customs headquarters in Birnin Kebbi.

“Physical examination revealed 94 jumbo sacks, each containing 30 pieces, making a total of 2,820 donkey skins, valued at over N48.1 million,” he said.

Attah explianed that trade in donkey skins was illegal, as it contravened the provision of Section 63 (b) of CEMA CAP C. 45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 (as amended).

“This level of poaching resulting in the slaughtering of 2,820 donkeys is not acceptable. If this is allowed to continue, donkeys will go into extinction.

“Nigeria is a signatory to a multi lateral Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species Flora and Fauna (CITES), which makes trade on donkey skins illegal.

“In view of the above, the items were converted to seizure in line with the directive of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd.),” he added.

He said the handing over of the 94 jumbo sacks of the donkey skins to Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service, was in the spirit of interagency collaboration.

The controller reiterated the determination of the command to nip smuggling in the bud and solicited the support of the public.

Alhaji Idris Dakat, Deputy Controller-General Quarantine, said it was the third time that NCS was handing over consignment of that nature to the service for safe disposal.

“We had it in Kano where 3,712 pieces, Suleja 300 pieces and now Kebbi, 2,820 pieces of hides.

“It means that a total of 6,832 donkeys have been slaughtered without replacement,” he said.

Dakat sought more collaboration with other agencies in the fight against the menace.