Senator condemns death of three in customs, smugglers Ogun clash
The Senator representing Ogun West Senatorial District, Tolu Odebiyi, has condemned Tuesday’s killings of some youths at the Kikelomo area of Ayetoro, headquarters of the Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State.
About three persons were killed during a clash between some suspected smugglers and operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service attached to Ogun State Command.
It was gathered that NCS officials invaded the area on the trail of some smugglers; a clash broke out between the customs officers and owners of some bags of smuggled rice who were trying to remove the items from a building.
Expressing his displeasure over the sad incident in a statement, the Senator described it as unfortunate but avoidable.
He said: “It is unfortunate that an incident such as this could still be happening after all that had been done and said about border reforms, modern techniques, and monitoring. Nigeria is going through a trying time with insecurity, COVID-19, and economic challenges. Customs should be more professional.”
The ugly incident, which occurred on Tuesday morning had left residents to flee the town following the house to house search for suspected smugglers by the combined team of military personnel and Customs men. One of those killed was identified as Sola Soga. He was killed by stray bullet allegedly fired by a NCS officer in Kikelomo area of Ayetoro, Yewa North local government area of Ogun.
“The NCS invaded the area with lorry loads of its men, they had loaded all the rice stocked in a warehouse in the area. But as they were about to leave the town, the owner of the warehouse approached them for a possible settlement. In order to forestall possible attack, an unknown custom man fired a shot to scare him away, which resulted in the death of Soga. The shooting led to some resistance from the youths who barricaded all the roads leading to the town,” an eyewitness said.
Also, a source confirmed that the NCS personnel acted on a tip-off that there was smuggled rice stocked in the area. “The NCS had to call for reinforcement from Idiroko and other areas in the command, as well as soldiers. The situation in Ayetoro is so tense now. As NCS officers and soldiers moved from house to house threatening residents to come out and be killed,” the source said.
Efforts to get the reaction of the spokesperson of the Federal Operation Unit of the service, Peter Duniya, were unsuccessful as calls put across to his mobile number was not going through.