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Outrage as customs vehicle kills student in Ogun

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The Ihunbo community in Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State was thrown into mourning yesterday, when officers of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Ogun State Command allegedly killed a student while conveying seized vehicles to base.
   
The decease (name withheld), a student of Ojomo Community High School, Ihunbo, was going home after school hours on a motorcycle when the customs officers’ vehicle hit him. Sympathisers bemoaned the recklessness of the customs officers, noting that the boy died on the spot.
 
Public Relations Officer of the command, Abdulahi Maiwada, confirmed the incident but said it was an accident. He said “the patrol vehicle of the service had a head-on collision with a motorcycle (Okada) while conveying seized smuggled vehicles to the base. It is so sad.

 
“The officers were conveying a tokunbo (smuggled) vehicles, and in the process, they had an accident. It was a collision with an Okada rider conveying some secondary school children. It wasn’t a stray bullet or pursue. It was an accident. They were moving on their own, it was an accident.”
 
The school located at Ihunbo town, Ipokia Local Government is a border town between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin.

A resident of the town, Rasheed Biliaminu, however, alleged that three secondary school students were killed while some market women were injured. Biliaminu said the vehicle being driven by a customs officer lost control and killed the students, who were standing by the roadside after the close of school for the day. The vehicle, he added, was seized from some suspected smugglers along Idiroko road.

Irate youths of the community were said to have set the vehicle on fire as the customs officers took to their heels for fear of being lynched. Biliaminu, who was furious about the incident, said customs should be mandated to stay at the border and not be roaming around the town killing innocent Nigerians.

Also, Emmanuel Adesola said the activities of the officers at the border area is posing threat to residents as they cannot move freely for the fear of stray bullets. He said: “The youths of Ipokia local government area recently embarked on an Independence walk on October 1 and wrote to all security agencies stationed in Ipokia.

“The men of the Nigeria Customs Service NCS were informed but they refused to solidarise with us while all others showed respect and love by joining us even in the rain. About 100 residents of this area have died in the last five years in series of clashes with security agencies over smuggling activities. We are tired of losing our loved ones.”


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