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Gunmen burgle Cross River Customs command, steal relief materials

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Gunmen yesterday burgled the Cross River State Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in the capital city, carting away relief materials for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

The early morning invasion of the premises located within the Calabar Free Trade Zone comes barely 24 hours after the presidential committee overseeing the distribution of food items and clothing to refugees in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states met.

An eyewitness, who said the hoodlums could not gain entrance into the warehouse, however pointed out that the invaders vandalised vehicles and made away with bags of rice and other valuables meant for the IDPs.

The Guardian learnt that since the distribution of the relief materials in last two weeks, groups, including the Bakassi IDPs, have alleged neglect of the state in the scheme of things by the Customs high command, and had reportedly threatened to sack the service from their border areas if their complaint was treated with levity.

The Command Public Relations Officer, Mr. Eneje Ugochukwu, who confirmed that the stolen items were for those seeking succour in the three North Central and East states, maintained that the presidential panel tidied the entire exercise up transparently.He added that his men repelled the intruders with minimal force until the situation was contained through the swift intervention of personnel of the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force, clarifying that no life was lost except for injuries sustained by a number of persons.

Ugochukwu disclosed that six people had been arrested while investigation into the incident was ongoing. “We thank God that calmness has been restored. Reinforcement came in, and at this time, I want to appreciate the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force for their very swift response,” he said.

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