By GODWIN ORITSE
THE Federal Operations Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), says the slain Vice-President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Mr Anayo Nnakezie, who was shot by yet-to-be-identified persons, may be a suspected smuggler
Speaking to newsmen at the weekend, acting comptroller of the unit, Mr. Victor Dimka, said he did not know how the NAGAFF official got to the scene where some contrabands were intercepted to plead for their release.
Dimka stated that when men of the anti-smuggling squad stopped the three vehicles carrying contrabands, two of them sped off while the one that was being towed was intercepted,
He explained that shortly after, the NAGAFF official came in and started pleading for the intercepted vehicle.
Dimka added that it was while this was going on that gun shots were rained by unknown persons on the Customs and other persons including the slain NAGAFF executive.
He said four of his men were wounded in the process and were in very critical conditions in different hospitals in Lagos.
He further explained that the Customs service was keeping mum on the matter because it was being investigated.
“From the reports we got, there were three vehicles our men got information about, they left their patrol base and drove towards Ifo.
“While they were there, they got very close to the smuggled vehicles carrying the contraband and when they tracked the three vehicles, two of them sped off. The third one was being towed by a log-carrying trailer because they were coming in from the bush.
“So, they were left with the option of either carrying the contraband- carrying vehicle with the trailer or to take that that concerns them and move.
“It was in the process of deciding on what to do and making contact to get towing vehicles that the deceased now moved in and started pleading with them.
“From nowhere, gun shots were fired at them and in the process the deceased was hit and died on the spot while my officers were seriously injured.
“Now, the question is this, what was he doing there at that material time and in the bush and why was he there pleading for smugglers if he was not involved in the nefarious business?
“We know that to fight smugglers, our lives are constantly on the line and we are prepared to die to ensure that this economic menace is reduced to the barest minimum.
According to him, the whole thing happened in total darkness.