Traders at Itam Market in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, have threatened to lock up their shops in protest over the N163 million worth of goods and cash allegedly seized by Custom officials last weekend. The Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of Itam Market and Special Assistant to the Chairman of Itu Local Government Area, Mr. Godwin Ebong, while addressing newsmen in Uyo yesterday lamented that Custom officials accompanied by soldiers and DSS operatives stormed the market last Friday night carting away goods and cash worth N163 million from the shops.
Ebong, who further explained that Custom officials with other security agencies invaded the market between 11pm when the traders had left their shops, ransacked all the shops and carried away several bags of rice. He recalled: “It was on Friday night about 11 pm that one of the night guards at the market called that some armed robbers had invaded the market. The said robbers, according to the guards, broke one of the gates with their guns. But, when the night guards approached the invaders, they pointed torch lights at them and said that we are not for you, as they ransacked the market and shops.