Counsel petitions Customs chief over Chinese nationals’ detention

A LAGOS-BASED legal practitioner, O.H Harris-Isa, has petitioned the Comptroller-General of Customs, Abdullahi Dikko Nde, over alleged illegal detention of two Chinese nationals beyond the constitutionally recognised period by officers of the Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ Unit, Ikeja.

The detained Chinese nationals are Mr. Jack Diaqi and Bai Yong. They are being held on alleged diversion of a container.

Harris-Isa, in the petition made available to The Guardian yesterday, urged the Customs chief to prevail on his men to release the Chinese nationals on bail.

He said it was unconstitutional for an accused to be detained beyond 48 hours without trial, and that his clients (the Chinese nationals) had spent six days in custody already.

The lawyer stressed that all efforts to secure an administrative bail for the Chinese nationals had been unsuccessful.

He added that several efforts to also get the Associate Legal Adviser of Zone ‘A’ of Customs in Ikeja, one Mr. Ajakaiye, to release the detained Chinese nationals on bail, also proved abortive.

Harris-Isa therefore urged the Customs chief to release his clients “from detention unconditionally, or upon such terms and conditions that may be necessary in the circumstance.”

Others copied in the petition, which was specifically addressed to the Customs Comptroller for Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’, Ikeja, Dan Ugo, included the National Security Adviser, Director of State Security Service, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria and the House of Representatives Committee on Customs Matter.


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