Customs Mourn Death of Senior Officer Who Died During Reps Investigative Hearing

The Nigeria Customs Service was thrown into mourning on Tuesday after one of its senior officers, Essien Etop Andrew, collapsed and died at the National Assembly in Abuja.

Andrew, who was the Deputy Comptroller, Finance Administration and Technical Service of the NCS, was fielding questions from the Public Account Committee of the House of Representatives when he suddenly requested water.

The Tuesday session was a continuation of the ongoing National Assembly’s probe of revenue-generating agencies and parastatals of the government.

While addressing the committee on remittance of levies into designated government accounts, Andrew paused and said, “Sir, I need to take water.”

The Chairman of the Committee, Bamidele Salam, responded, “You need to take water, sir? Yes, go ahead! Or if you need tea… Do you need tea?”

The Customs boss repeated, “I may need to take water,” and then collapsed.

He was rushed to the National Assembly clinic, where he passed away.

The House of Representatives broke the news in a statement by its spokesman, Akin Rotimi.

Rotimi said, “It is with deep sadness and regret that we confirm the passing of an esteemed official of the Nigeria Customs Service who was at the National Assembly for an engagement with a House Committee.

“During the engagement, which occurred around 1.00pm on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, the official developed sudden health complications. Despite the immediate and diligent efforts of first responders and medical personnel at the National Assembly clinic, he unfortunately passed away.

“Out of respect for the family, the official’s name will not be disclosed at this time.

“The House of Representatives extends its heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of the deceased during this difficult time. We recognise the significant contributions he made to the Nigeria Customs Service and to our nation.

“The House of Representatives stands ready to support efforts to understand the circumstances surrounding the incident and is cooperating fully with all relevant authorities to ensure all necessary protocols are followed.”

The statement quoted the  Speaker of the House, Tajudeen Abbas as saying, “We are deeply saddened by the sudden loss of a dedicated public servant. Our hearts go out to his family during this difficult time.”

The NCS, in a statement by its  National Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Maiwada, expressed sadness of the development.

“The loss of such a dedicated and valued team member is deeply felt across the service. We are committed to supporting and assisting his family and colleagues as they navigate this difficult period,” the Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi. Said.


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