The Role of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in the Prosecution of Smuggling Offences in Nigeria

International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume II, Issue X, October 2018 | ISSN 2454–6186

The Role of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in the Prosecution of Smuggling Offences in Nigeria

Musa Omale

 Ph.D UNN; Deputy Comptroller, Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit zone ‘C’ Owerri Imo State, Nigeria

Abstract:-This paper generally examines the crime of smuggling in Nigeria with particular emphasis on the role of the principal agency in-charge of the administration and combating of the crime. It examines the nature of smuggling offences under the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA), and found that the role of the NCS in this regard and as stipulated in the CEMA cannot be overemphasized. Under the guise of collaboration, other agencies engage in this statutory role of the NCS, which ought not to be. To this end the institutional frame work for combating smuggling is analysed culminating in the discussion on prosecution of offenders under CEMA. The appropriate sanctions for offenders is put in focus anchoring on the need for this to act as deterrent, so as to reduce smuggling to its barest minimum.


Smuggling is defined as the crime of taking, sending or bringing goods secretly and illegally into or out of a country. Although some view it merely as trading; either locally or across frontier and hence see nothing wrong with it, it is a serious crime. Kofo Olugbesan states that the economic repercussion of smuggling and the inordinate perpetration of the act may necessarily have led to its criminalisation. Beyond this smuggling has been viewed to be a crime possessing and manifesting terroristic dynamics.

Statutorily it is defined as the act of illegal importation or exportation of goods into or out of a country without payment of duty payable therein and evasion of prohibitions and restrictions order without legal documents required for that purpose.

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