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Customs officer dies at Reps investigative hearing

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The Deputy Comptroller in charge of Finance Administration and Technical Service of the Nigerian Customs Service, Essien Etop Andrew, is dead.

Andrew slumped and died at the National Assembly Clinic in Abuja on Tuesday.

He was a guest of the Public Account Committee of the House of Representatives where he appeared for questioning in continuation of the ongoing probe of revenue-generating agencies and parastatals of government.

While addressing the Committee on Remittance of Levies into Designated Government Accounts, Andrew suddenly paused and said: “Sir, I need to take water”.

The committee chairman, Hon. 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.

The House later announced his death in a statement signed by its spokesman , Hon. Akin Rotimi.

The statement read in part: “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 pm 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 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 Speaker of the House, Tajudeen Abbas expressed his condolences, stating, “We are deeply saddened by the sudden loss of a dedicated public servant. Our hearts go out to his family during this difficult time.

“Further information will be provided as it becomes available. We ask for patience and respect for the privacy of the family during this period of mourning”.

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