Ogun bloodbath: Panic as one killed, several injured in Customs, smugglers clash
One person was feared killed at the Tollgate end of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, Sango-Ota, Ogun State, on Tuesday, when operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service and smugglers clashed.
The identity of the person killed could not be ascertained, but the victim was believed to be a suspected smuggler.
Our correspondent gathered that pandemonium broke out when hoodlums, suspected to be smugglers, attacked the convoy of the customs operatives from the Federal Operations Unit, Ikeja, conveying seized 45 bags of rice and 258 cartons of turkey alleged to have been smuggled through the Idiroko end of the Republic of Benin.
The Public Relations Officer, Ogun State Area Command of the NCS, Mr. Abdullahi Maiwada, said NCS operatives were conveying the seized goods to the NCS warehouse in Ikeja, Lagos, when the clash occurred.
He said the vehicles conveying the contraband were a Mazda car, with number plate, KTU 504 AL, and an unregistered Volkswagen Passat.
He said, “Our operatives had intercepted two vehicles conveying the contraband – a Mazda, with number plate, KTU 504 AL, which conveyed 45 bags of smuggled rice; the other car was an unregistered Volkswagen Passat, which conveyed 258 cartons of poultry product.
“It was while our operatives were taking the seized goods to a government warehouse in Ikeja that hoodlums attacked them around the Tollgate area in Sango-Ota. Our officers had to save their lives and protect the seized contraband. It was during the ensuing clash that one of the hoodlums was shot dead.”
Maiwada said following the clash, hoodlums who were irked by the killing of the victim, stormed the customs checkpoint at Atan, along Sango-Idi Iroko Road, and destroyed about five vehicles.
He lamented that one of the patrol Hilux vehicles belonging to the NCS was set ablaze, while another had its screen smashed. He added that three other cars belonging to residents were vandalised.
He said one of the officers of NCS was also attacked and he was receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital.
He said, “One of our officers had to take refuge at a nearby police station during the clash.”
The customs’ spokesman said the situation has been brought under control, while investigation had started.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, also confirmed the incident.
He said, “The clash occurred this morning (Tuesday) between smugglers and the operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit. Ikeja, at the Tollgate end of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway and one of the smugglers was killed in the clash.
“Policemen from the Sango-Ota Police Station in Ogun State and Alagbado Police Division in Lagos State, were deployed in the area to restore law and orderPunch