By Bose Adelaja
An overnight raid of the popular Mile 12 market, Lagos State, by men of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, for rice smugglers turned awry yesterday, as a stray bullet hit a mad man.
It was gathered that the custom officers had reportedly taken position in the market as early as 5a.m., but unknown to them the rice traders in the market were already prepared for confrontation.
Vanguard gathered that immediately the Customs officers started the raid, the traders started throwing pebbles and other objects at the officials, while street urchins popularly called ‘Area Boys’ took advantage of the occasion to cart away bags of rice, vegetable oil and other edibles.
An eyewitness, Mr. Ajenifuja Ojo, said the confrontation between street urchins and the Customs operatives extended to the expressway, prompting commuters and road users to scamper for safety.
One of the traders, who pleaded anonymity, said the NCS officials had to defend themselves by shooting into the air to scare their assailants, unfortunately, “this turned sour as a lunatic identified as Ayo Ibukun, was hit by stray bullet.”
The trader said the victim was half dressed at the time of the incident, but the officials suspected him as one of their assailants. A stray bullet was then said to have hit his lap.
When Vanguard arrived the scene, the victim laid helpless on the expressway as people were scared of rendering assistance.
He was able to mutter his full: Ayo Ibukun.