By Godfrey Bivbere
Officials of Area K of the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, have released the Customs Officer who shot at a civilian on Tuesday last week at Badagry.
Despite continuous denials by the Seme Border Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Vanguard Maritime Report gathered that following the reaction of civilians to the shooting incident and fear of mob action, the trigger happy Customs officer was transferred to Area K.
Vanguard Maritime Report had earlier called the Public Relations Officer of the Seme Command, Saidu Abdullahi, who had told our Correspondent that he was not aware of any such incident.
Abdullahi also told Vanguard Maritime Report over the weekend after the release of the Customs officer that there was no such incident.
According to him, “To us is not even an issue, Seme area is calm and peaceful. That is why I told you that I doubt the whole incident. As I am speaking to you right now I am in my office.
On whether he is standing by his story that there was no shooting incident, he said “If there was anything like that I should be aware, there is nothing of such, it is a non- issue,” he concluded.
However, the Lagos State Police Public relations Officer, Chike Oti, confirmed to Vanguard Maritime Report that the incident actually occurred that the Customs officer has been released on health grounds and the fact that injury on the victim was not serious.
According to Oti, “The matter is under investigation and I cannot say much now until I get a report on the investigation.”
On whether the Customs officer has been released, he said “Yes, because it is a bailable offence. You must also realise that Customs have their rules but haven said that, the matter is not life threatening and a lot of things were also put into consideration before bail was granted.
“Preliminary investigation into the case revealed that it was an accidental discharge, it was not intended and there was no quarrel between the two of them (the Customs officer and the man that was shoot), no fighting.
“The men were exchanging banters before the gun went off. From what we gathered, they know each other and they exchange banters when they come across each other.
“Because the injury is not live threatening, no vital part (body) of the victim was affected but a light scrap of the skin of the arm and we also considered the officer’s medical state (he is on medication).
“We want him alive to be able to face whatever comes out of the investigation.”
Vanguard Maritime Report revealed that the victim has since been treated and released from the hospital after the incident.