Customs seizes 414 sacks of Donkey skin from suspected smugglers


June 14, 2023.

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Azonuchechi Chukwu.

No fewer than 414 sacks of Donkey skin were intercepted by the men of the Nigeria Customs Service, Kebbi Area Command from suspected smugglers.

This was disclosed by the Customs Area Controller of the Command, Dr. Ben Oramalugo while handing over seized donkey meat and skins to the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS) in the spirit of inter-agency agency collaboration.

The items handed over to NAQS at the Command’s Headquarters in Birnin Kebbi include four hundred and fourteen (414) sacks of donkey meat and skins seized by the Command and the process of seizure started from the Maje border, and ended in the Kamba axis in May he said.

Speaking on the seized donkey meat and skins, Oramalugo noted that Customs is empowered to detain, seize and condemn any item on several grounds as enshrined in Section 167 of CEMA Cap C45 LFN 2004, provided such items were smuggled into the country or imported without payment of duty.

“Same is also applicable to the items intercepted by customs about to be smuggled out of the country. Section 63 of CEMA is unequivocal about the exportation of items without following the laydown procedure of approved exports”, he stressed.

He queried, “If the exporters knew they were doing the right thing, why didn’t they follow the approved route and observe Customs export procedure?”

He further explained reasons for the seizure to disabuse some people mind who think they’re doing legitimate business, Dr. Ben Oramalugo stated that the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which is an international agreement between governments, frowns at illegal trade of endangered species which threaten the survival of the species and Nigeria is Signatory to the agreement.

He added that Decree 11 of 1985 signified Nigeria’s ratification of the convention.

“As for the skins, Schedule 6 of the export prohibition list includes rawhide/Skin including wet blue and unprocessed leather as prohibited for export under serial No 3. And in the same vein, Serial No 7 also mentioned wildlife animals classified as endangered species and their product (like lizards, elephants, crocodiles, etc).”

A statement signed by the command spokesman, Mubarak Mustapha, and made available to our correspondent said the Assistant Comptroller General of NAQS in charge of North West Zone, Adamu Isah Gano who took over the items for further necessary action, while appreciating the Command, also noted that international trade on such animals declared as endangered species is strictly regulated,

He added that a trader must possess CITES certificate, a certificate of exportation or importation as the case may be by the country’s environmental authority, sanitary/hygienic certifications, and eventually, a professional comes into play, which in this case is the Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria (CVON), who offers permit to either import or export such animals.

The ACG NAQS concluded that in the case of donkeys, the slaughter of donkeys for their products is strictly prohibited by the extant law of Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services and therefore appreciated Nigeria Customs Service for its laudable interventions to stop the illicit trade.(

Azonuchechi Chukwu
Azonuchechi Chukwu
Ms Azonuchechi Chukwu has a BSC holder in mass communication Ebonyi State University

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