Customs officers in search of smugglers allegedly shoot man to death

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Pandemonium broke out at Oja Odan on Wednesday when operatives of Nigeria Customs Service reportedly shot dead a 25-year-old man, identified as Kehinde in Ebute community in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State.

The deceased, who was said to be the son of a retired military man was allegedly shot dead in the early hours of Wednesday by operatives of the Nigerian Customs Service, who were in search of smugglers in the area.

Our correspondent gathered that the deceased, a farmer cum labourer, who was squatting with three friends in Ebute, was allegedly shot dead on his way to the farm.

An eye-witness said the customs operatives arrived the area in the morning to evacuate an allegedly smuggled truck hid in the village by some smugglers, who had fled before their arrival.

He said, “They  accused the deceased, who was holding a cutlass and on his way to the farm, of being  a smuggler  and  reportedly shot him death.”

The customs officers reportedly fled the scene leaving the corpse behind; they returned minutes later with 15 patrol vehicles to carry the corpse but were stopped by some army officers believed to have been contacted by the deceased’s father.

It would be recalled that some lives had been lost this year in various clashes between smugglers and customs officers in the border area of the state.

The corpse was said to have been taken to the mortuary at the General Hospital, Ilaro.

When contacted, the State Public Relations Office of the state  NCS, Abdulahi Maiwada confirmed the incident, saying the operatives were in the area to recover a military truck being smuggled into the country through the area.

Maiwada said “Officers of Nigeria Customs Service Ogun Command on routine patrol based on credible intelligence at about 0830hours trailed a military truck-head smuggled into Nigeria and kept at Ebute Community.

“In an attempt to secure the said vehicle, some unscrupulous members of the community mobilised themselves by blocking the access road and started pelting our personnel with stones, bottles, cutlasses, sticks and other dangerous items.

“Considering the implication of the entry of such truck to national security, our officers resisted and called for reinforcement to cordon the area for the safe evacuation of the truck.

 

“Unfortunately, during the encounter, one of the hoodlums was shot in the upper part of his leg (pelvic girdle) and consequently died.

“Meanwhile, normalcy has since been returned with the intervention of police and military personnel. The truck has been secured at Customs House Abeokuta for further investigation.”

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