A bus conductor, identified as Toheeb Olayiwola, was shot dead in Abule-Egba area of Lagos yesterday, by Customs men chasing a bus loaded with smuggled bags of rice.
An eyewitness, Ahmed Ogundairo, disclosed that the victim was in the bus with number plates LND685XJ, coming from Sango in Ogun State.
Ogundairo said that Customs men accosted the bus at Abule-Egba and started shooting sporadically.
His words: “The commercial bus, which was loaded with bags of rice, was en route Mushin from Sango, when the Customs officers stopped the bus and started shooting.
“My friend was inside the bus to assist in offloading the rice, but he was shot dead when he tried to escape from the scene. The bus was hired to deliver the rice to Mushin.”
Another eyewitness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, noted that the victim was not a smuggler, but a conductor with a commercial bus.
A policeman from Oke-Odo Division, who was at the scene of the accident, said that no official statement could be made until the arrival of the Divisional Police Officer.
He said that the incident occurred at about 6.30a.m.
There was no customs official at the scene to give an account of the incident, but LASTMA officials were seen controlling vehicular traffic.
Angry youths, protesting the killing, set bonfire under the bridge, while the corpse of the victim was still at the scene at 7.30a.m.
The Customs Public Relations Officer, Federal Operations, Ikeja, Mr. Jerry Attah, said the team trailed a vehicle loaded with smuggled rice to Abule-Egba, a suburb of Lagos, and that Customs men were mobbed by smugglers, who prevented the officers from carrying out their duties.