The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said its officers have the power to search any building, vessel, vehicle or aircraft for smuggled items.
Customs Area Controller, Ogun 1 Area Command, Bamidele Makinde, said the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) empowers the NCS to search premises, vehicles, and planes, to arrest, detain and enforce the law like the police.
“Section 147 of CEMA Cap C45 Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 empowers Customs operatives to search premises suspected to have been used to conceal or store smuggled, prohibited, restricted or dutiable goods,” he said.
According to him, Section 148 empowers NCS officers to search licensed premises, Section 150 empowers them to search persons while Section 158 empowers the officers to patrol freely in any part of the country.
He also stated that Section 167 of CEMA gives the NCS powers to make seizures and detain suspected smugglers while Section 149 empowers the service to search vehicles and aircraft.