NCS seizes 105 wild birds worth N24 million
By Yemi Olakitan
The Nigeria Customs Service, Seme Area Command on Saturday reported that it had discovered 105 wild birds being trafficked over the Seme-Badagry Motorway.
The Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the birds, according to a statement from the Command’s Controller, Comptroller Timi Bomodi, was N24,912,928.
Bomodi claimed that while on patrol of the Seme-Badagry Motorway, command personnel discovered the birds after stopping two buses, one travelling from Togo to Nigeria and the other from Katsina to the Benin Republic, on September 27 and September 28, respectively.
60 green parrots, 14 budgerigar parrots, 6 eastern rosella parrots, 2 macaw parrots, 1 white cockatoo parrot, and 60 others were found during the cross-examination of these buses.
“Other birds found include four Rose-Ringed Parakeet parrots, a Maidain Dock bird, three love birds, and four other birds.
“Approximately 10 of these birds have perished as a result of the trauma of being transported in this state. Additionally, two suspects were detained in relation to the seizure, the source added.
Bomodi denounced this criminal behaviour on the part of some members of society.
He reaffirmed that the International Convention on Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), to which Nigeria is a party, forbids the trade in endangered animals.
As long as they continue to use the Lagos-Abidjan corridor, the Controller warned, they will be stopped and detained for engaging in illegal activity.
The confiscated wild birds have been sent to National Park Service officials in accordance with NCS directives that encourage inter-agency collaboration and synergy because it is their duty to care for them and keep them safe, the official added.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the command also stopped smuggled African parrots on their way to Benin Republic from Kaduna on September 24.
The birds put into a luxury bus, according to the controller, were stopped along the Seme-Badagry Motorway.
He stated that two individuals had been detained in connection with the seizures and that the birds had a DPV valued at N6.9 million.