Lawyer drags Customs, AGF to court over border closure

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A legal practitioner, Umeh Ezeh has dragged the Nigeria Customs Service and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami before a Federal High Court in Lagos over partial closure of Nigeria’s land borders.

Umeh is seeking amongst other things, a declaration that the Nigeria Customs Service does not have the powers to declare ‘Partial closure’ of Nigerian land borders and consequently direct that lawful goods cannot be exported or imported by lawful means through Nigerian land borders.

He is also asking the court to declare that the directive of Nigerian Customs that lawful goods cannot be imported or exported through land borders, even upon payment of the appropriate duties and taxes, violates the Nigerian constitution, the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, and the revised treaty of Economic Community of West African States.

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Umeh is consequently praying the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents jointly and severally from enforcing the order of partial closure of land borders with respect to goods that are not subject to any prohibition from importation into Nigeria, save upon the enactment of a valid law by the National Assembly.

In his statement of claims, Umeh averred that partial land borders closure has negatively impacted on thousands of Nigerian businesses as their hundreds of thousands of customers from Benin Republic, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Togo, Burkina Faso and other countries can no longer visit Nigeria and purchase goods and travel back to their countries with the goods.

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He insisted that directive by the Nigerian Customs has effectively killed regional trade in West Africa and wants the court to declare the directive illegal, unconstitutional, null and void since the directive is not backed by any validly enactment by the National Assembly



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