Customs ordered to pay N5.5bn to importer over seizure of 90 containers of rice

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday ordered the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to pay an importer the sum of N5.5 billion damages for seizure and detention of 90 containers of imported rice.

This was as a result of a suit filed against the NCS by a firm Maggpiy Trading TFZE.
Justice Inyang Ekwo in his judgment said officials of the Customs acted without justification by law.

Justice Ekwo also held that the officials of the Customs also pilfered the rice they had seized from the importer, while the case was being determined.

All the reliefs sought by the plaintiff were awarded by the court with general damages against the Customs Service.

The damages were to the tune of N3,805,638,950 and $4,796,550 against the Customs.

The Court also granted an order of perpetual injunction stopping the defendants from unlawfully interfering with the lawful business transaction of the plaintiff at the Tinapa Free Trade Zone.

The importer had in the suit told the court that officials of the Customs on March 2019 invaded and sealed its warehouse at the Tinapa Free Trade Zone.

Maggpiv also said the officials detained 40 trucks containing 317 transit containers of rice destined for the Tinapa Free Trade Zone, 120 days along Onne, Port-Harcourt.