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Customs kill suspected smuggler in Ogun

By Sulaimon Salau |   21 October 2019   |   3:51 am  

Nigerian Customs Service (NCS)

One person was yesterday shot dead by an officer of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) at Owode Yewa area of Ogun State, while many others sustained various degrees of injuries in a fracas that broke out between some suspected smugglers and NCS officers at about 2:00 a.m. on Monday.

The situation, it was learned, led to some unrest and protest by residents of the area. The killing is coming barely two weeks after three students of Ojumo Community High School were killed and some market women when customs officers were conveying a ‘tokunbo’ vehicle that was reportedly smuggled into the country. Ihunbo is a few kilometres from Owode, the scene of yesterday’s incident.

But in its reaction, the NCS, Ogun 1 command, said the officer who fired the shot acted in “self-defense”. A statement by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Maiwada, said some alleged smugglers were intercepted in a vehicle loaded with prohibited items suspected to be smuggled into Nigeria from Owode-Yewa border area of the state. Officers of the NCS seized the ‘prohibited items’ from the suspected smuggler, who took to his heels.

According to Maiwada, the suspected smuggler later came with his ‘mobilized compatriots’ to attack armed customs officers. “In the process, the suspected smuggler and owner of the smuggled items engaged an armed officer in a physical battle in a bid to disarm him in the ensuing struggle.

“The officer appropriately exercised his superior power in self-defense, leading to the death of the yet-to-be-identified smuggler. As at the time of filing this report, the deceased have been deposited in an undisclosed mortuary, while the exhibit is secured in Government Warehouse pending further investigation,” Maiwada said.

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