No fewer than two customs officers have been injured following attack by smugglers along Papalanto community, the Ogun State Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has said.
In a statement made available to newsmen by the command’s spokesman Abdullahi Maiwada to Nigerian NewsDirect, noted that a combined team of customs and other security agencies tactically succeeded in securing the seized items out of the scene in a professional manner thus avoiding any loss of life.
Maiwada noted that the seized items have been secured with three suspects currently under interrogation at Customs Command Headquarters.
It would be recalled that an officer attached to the Command, Inspector of Custom Abdullahi Kuso was almost lynched at the same location (Papalanto) on 7th July, 2018 by a group of criminals who perceive smuggling as legitimate way of livelihood.
While narrating the ordeal which took place in the early hours ,the spokesman said : “Officers of Nigeria Customs Service Ogun Command escorting seized smuggled rice from Ilaro navigating to Abeokuta Government Warehouse for safe keeping on Friday at about 0800hours were obstructed by a group of hoodlums pelted our personnel with stones, bottles, cutlasses, sticks and other dangerous items.
“Our Officers restrained themselves by controlling the situation short of using force.
Continuing ,he stated that “On the arrival of reinforcement teams from Army, Police, Federal Operations Unit and Command teams, the hoodlums were overpowered but not before serious injuries were inflicted on two Customs Personnel who are currently responding to treatment in the hospital.
He added that “In the face of the provocative hostility, Officers tactically succeeded in securing the seizures out of the scene in a professional manner thereby avoiding any loss of life.
According to him, normalcy has since been restored with the intervention of reinforcement teams of the security agencies.
Maiwada also commended the patriotic roles of other sister agencies and law abiding citizens in assisting the Command to perform its lawful duty of revenue collection and suppression of smuggling in the interest of our dear country.
“We wish to categorically state that we will continue to prosecute the anti-smuggling crusade in spite of the unwarranted attacks.
“We want to use this medium to advise parents/guardians to warn their wards to desist from obstructing Customs Officers performing their legitimate duties as the Service will not hesitate to use appropriate force in the interest of the nation”, he noted.