Council boss urges compensation for slain traders in Ogun
A WEEK after officials of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) allegedly killed four innocent traders at the popular Sango Motor Park, Ogun State, an appeal has gone to the Federal Government and relevant authorities in the country to fish out the culprits and bring them to book.
The Chairman of Ado-Odo/Ota Local Council, Rotimi Rahmon, who made the appeal at a press conference held at the weekend at the Council Secretariat, Ota, demanded quick justice and adequate compensation for the families of the victims, who were cut down in their prime, adding that settlement of the hospital bills of the injured should also be handled by the NCS.
He said eye witnesses account disclosed that the Customs officials from Federal Operation Unit (FOU), Ikeja, allegedly pursued some smugglers in vehicles loaded with bags of rice and on getting to the motor park area, began shooting indiscriminately and in the process a lady in front of her shop was shot dead, while several others sustained various degrees of injury.
“No doubt, you must have read or heard about how innocent citizens who were going about their daily businesses in Sango motor park were gunned down due to the indiscriminate shooting by men of the Nigeria Customs Service on Monday, February 23, 2015 around 10.30am.
“As we speak, three others have died while some are on admission in the hospital. We are using this medium to express our displeasure and condemn, in its totality, the barbaric attitude of the customs men.
Everybody knows that Sango is the busiest area in our local council, where we have all kinds of people from different ethnic groups. For
Instance, the lady that was killed, we learnt, hailed from Kogi State,” he said.
The chairman said that at this age and time in the country, it is expected that those who are saddled with the maintenance of law, order and security must be scientific in their approach in the handling of firearms, especially in populated areas like markets and motor parks.
He wondered how rice and other banned items passed through about 50 check-points between Idiroko borders and Sango motor park, without the Customs men and other security agents who manned the various check points detecting them but only for the smugglers to be chased to Sango area, where the Customs men started to shoot indiscriminately. Could it be that the smugglers refused to grease their palms and that was the reason for the shooting?”
Rahman disclosed that the council had written the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, Abuja, Ogun Command and Ikeja, Ogun State Police Command and the State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, among others, stressing that since the letter was sent, there was no response yet from the NCS.
On behalf of the deceased families, he called on government to call the security agents in the country to order, especially in this election season.
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