Monday, 6th December 2021
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Police re-arraign 13 suspected smugglers for kidnapping Customs officer in Ogun

The Police in Ogun State yesterday re-arraigned in court, 13 suspected smugglers who allegedly kidnapped an operative of the Nigeria Customs Service...

The Police in Ogun State yesterday re-arraigned in court, 13 suspected smugglers who allegedly kidnapped an operative of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Abdul-Rasheed Salami, attached to the Federal Operation Unit (FOU) in April this year.

The suspects were arraigned before a Magistrate’s Court 1 sitting in Isabo area of Abeokuta, the state capital, on a three-count charges bothering on conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping and willful and unlawful damage of two vehicles belonging to NCS operatives.

In the amended charge sheet number: MA/797C/2018, read before the court by the prosecution Counsel, Mr. Bale Nimnan, the suspect, which included a woman, were said to have committed the offence on April 14, this year along the Ilo-Awela road, near the Toll-Gate axis of Sango-Ota in the Ado-Odo/Ota Council.

The suspects had earlier on August 5 been arraigned before the Magistrate Court 1 and 2, presided over by Magistrate A.I. Adelaja on three counts charge in suit numbers: MA/347C/2018 and MA/559C/2018, but were granted bail.

The suspects were accused of being accomplices in the gun duel that occurred between the NCS operatives and smugglers at the old Tollgate axis of Sango-Ota in April this year.

During the incident, suspected smugglers allegedly unleashed mayhem on the NCS operatives, which led to the abduction of the victim, Salami, an Inspector of Customs.

Two vehicles belonging to the NCS’ Federal Operation Unit (FOU)- a Toyota Hilux, with registration number AP 80 CS, and a Toyota Hummer bus, marked AQ 74 CS, were also destroyed during the fracas.

The 13 suspects, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against them when they were re-arraigned yesterday in Abeokuta.

But ruling on the matter yesterday, the Court, presided over by Magistrate Titilayo Bello, adjourned hearing on the matter to 18th December 18, this year for continuation of the matter.