Kwara State House of Assembly has directed its Committee on Commerce, Industry, Cooperative and Social Development to investigate the alleged seizure of 704 bags of rice from the warehouse of Mount Olive Nigeria limited in Ilorin by the Nigeria Customs Service on Sunday.
The Assembly gave the directive in a resolution reached at its plenary on Tuesday.
The directive was sequel to a petition titled, 'Illegal seizure of 704 bags of rice by the Nigeria Customs in Baboko Market Warehouse on 30th August, 2019' presented by a member representing Ilorin North West Constituency, Hon AbdulGafar Ayinla, on the floor of the House.
In the petition dated August 30, 2019, the Chairman of Mount Olive, Mr Ademola Adebola, insisted that the 704 bags of 50 kg rice valued at N9,996,000 and removed from the company's warehouse at Oja-tuntun market, Baboko, Ilorin in the midnight of Sunday last week were produced locally, adding that he had documents to back the purchase of the rice given to him by the producers of the agricultural produce.
Describing the raid as illegal, Adebola said, "The unlawful raid of the warehouse, arrest, detention and seizure of rice by the Customs special task force at about 2am was carried out in a commando style as they blasted open the gate leading into the depot to gain access.
"I have all the documents including the invoice and the receipts with which I purchased the rice from Nasarawa and other rice producers in Nigeria and in the last four years, I have been supporting the cause of Nigeria rice to grow the economy but unfortunately men of the Nigeria Customs have been threatening this business.
"Ask any producer of rice in Nigeria, Mount Olive Nigeria Ltd have been supporting them because I am the distributor of Nigerian rice in the whole South West and Nigeria customs just came to frustrate me. I have 480 members of staff under me. I don't know what they want from me. I pay my tax regularly. If they are saying Iím not doing my business in the orderly way, what is the orderly way they want me to follow?"
Adebola said he would never engage in the shady deal of re-packaging grains as alleged against him and called for investigation into the matter to clear his name and those of over 500 workers in his employment.
"This is my father's land and as a trained pharmacist, I had to retire from civil service job to become an investor some years back. I want a thorough investigation into the matter because a similar one was done against me in Ibadan, Oyo State capital where I lost over N200m some years ago."
The Speaker of the Assembly, Yakubu Danladi, while reading the resolution of the Assembly urged the committee to investigate the petition and report to the House in two weeks.