Three weeks after Fashola’s death, family seeks prosecution of customs officer
Three weeks after a 45-year-old commuter driver, Bayo Fashola, was allegedly shot by men of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) during a fracas with smugglers in Papalanto area of Ogun State, his family has cried out over alleged plans to sweep the matter under the carpet.
Their fear is due to what they termed police inaction on the issue. This incident, which occurred on July 7, led to a pandemonium, as commuter drivers and residents of the community, out of anger blocked the Sango-Abeokuta expressway for about an hour, and also launched an attack on the customs officers, which left one Inspector of Customs, Abdullahi Mohammad Kuso, badly matcheted.
It was learnt that a policeman, who carried smuggled rice, was accosted by the customs officers from Ilaro, with the mindset that his colleagues at the Papalanto junction will rescue him. But on getting there, the customs officers were still bent on arresting him, despite the presence of his colleagues, which led to a scuffle. It was in the process that the gun triggered and hit Fashola who was waiting for the last passenger for his Ibadan-bound bus. Efforts to revive him failed as he was hit in the stomach.
Though the State Command of NCS, through their Public Relations Officer (PRO), Abdullahi Maiwada, denied that his colleagues shot and killed the driver as alleged, contrary to eyewitness reports, but The Guardian learnt that the command had summoned meeting between them and the family.
At the last meeting between the customs representatives and the family’s lawyer, it was gathered that the meeting was inconclusive, a development that has given rise to anxiety, especially from the deceased’s last wife, Kemi, who is nursing a seven-week baby that the case would be buried.
She told The Guardian that the inaction of the police since the incident happened is making her lose confidence in them because there has been no progress since the incident happened. “The customs want to cheat us because we are not rich, we don’t know anybody but we know God. I am appealing to well meaning Nigerians, Human Rights activists and government to prevail on the police to arrest the culprit who killed my husband.”
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