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Air traveler to sue customs for publishing her passport

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A woman has threatened to sue the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) for publishing her passport details in national newspapers after she posted on Facebook how its officers seized her bag and a pair of shoes brought into the country through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Mrs. Adaeze Udenzi Nwagboliwe decried how her passport details were published by the National Public Relations Officer of NCS, DCC Joseph Attah, after she was forced to pay N151,165 for her personal effects seized as she arrived from London on a British Airways flight BA083 at about 4:30a.m. on October 18.

In a bid to justify the actions of its officers, Attah had claimed in a statement that Nwagboliwe had refused to pay customs duty on the mini-boy bag and a pair of sneakers bought at the duty-free shop in Heathrow, which the customs officers had considered as luxury and dutiable. The customs spokesman insisted that the Louis Vuitton bag and shoe were luxury items that must attract duty. He said that duty must be paid on items valued above N50, 000.

Nwagboliwe added that she would sue the NCS for publishing her passport number to the general public after seeking legal counsel. “My passport could be cloned and used for all kinds of things. This has to be addressed,” she said.

Attah’s statement published in newspapers reads in part: “The attention of the Nigeria Customs Service has been drawn to a misleading narrative by one Mrs. Udensi Adaeze Nwagboliwe, whose claim of being ill-treated at the airport on the bases of her gender, tribe or where she comes from is going viral on the social media.

“Mrs. Nwagboliwe who arrived the country onboard BA083 with passport No. A07994773 at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport had claimed that she was singled out and slammed with Customs Duty payment for one pair of shoes and “a mini boy bag” that should have been allowed to pass freely as personal effects.

“There is therefore the need to make public what actually transpired to put the record straight, especially as she maliciously introduced gender, tribal and other unnecessary sentiments into what was simply a case of being told to pay duty as what was in her possession was far above the allowable value of N50, 000.00 and certainly beyond what normal discretion would allow.”


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