One dies as Customs, smugglers clash in Ogun

One person has been confirmed dead and properties destroyed, as officers of the Nigeria Customs Service and suspected smugglers clashed at Olajogun and Ohunbe in Yewa Council of Ogun State, Nigeria.

Customs Public Relations Officer of the command, Hammed Oloyede, stated on Friday that the ugly incident occurred when the officers were trying to intercept kegs of Premium Motor Spirit being transported out of the country.

The statement read in part, “On February 10, 2021, about 17:23hours, the Joint Border Drill Operatives stationed at Olajogun in Oja-Odan area of Ilaro intercepted several 25-litre kegs of Petroleunm Motor Spirit destined for smuggling outside Nigeria.

“In an attempt to seize the said petroleum products, obviously in contravention of schedule six of Common External Tariff, some smugglers armed with assorted dangerous weapons such as cutlasses, guns and charms, unleashed deadly attack against lawful officers, leading to a crossfire. In the ensuing exchange of fire between smugglers and the patrol team, one Tunde Alabe (male), a native of Ohunbe community also involved in the attack, sustain a gun injury leading to his untimely death.”

He added that the smugglers also destroyed properties belong to the service.

“This unfortunate incident led to the blockage of Oja-Odan/Obelle Road by a syndicated armed hoodlums. They further advanced there hostilities by burning down all Customs checkpoints and that of sister security agencies from Olajogun to Hanger and Ohunbe areas of Ogun State.

“As at the time of writing this report, the properties and items destroyed by the hoodlums include two Customs patrol Toyota Hilux, one patrol Toyota Hilux belonging to Nigeria Immigration Service, one Mercedes Benz SUV, one Peugeot 206, four motorcycles belonging to NIS, original credentials and other documents belonging to two Customs personnel, two buildings and many other patrol points,” he stated.

According to the statement, the Customs Area Controller in charge of the command, Peter Kolo, has vowed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the attack.

“To this end, the Customs Area Controller, Compt. Peter Kolo, vowed to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate incident and promised to bring the perpetrators of this evil act to book.

“I am also appealing to traditional rulers, opinion moulders and eminent personalities to dissuade youths from seeing smuggling as means of livelihood. The protection of the society against socio-economic ills usually compounded by smuggling is a collective cause we should all join forces to fight,” he added.

Anozie Egole
Anozie Egole
Anozie Egole is a Transport correspondent. He reports Maritime, Aviation and Rail/Road Transport for Financial Street.

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