By Alemma Aliu
BENIN—THERE was a clash between men of the Nigeria Customs Service and some locals in Ovbiogie village , Ovia North East local government over the alleged killing of a commercial driver.
An operational vehicle of the NCS was set ablaze, while Customs officers on duty reportedly fled as the protesters were said to have overpowered them despite their heavy shootings.
It was gathered that two bags of rice believed to be contraband were found inside the victim’s bus when he was stopped by some Customs officers on duty.
An eye witness said the driver was asked to drop the bags of rice because they were suspected to be contraband but the driver reportedly refused and in the process, he was allegedly shot dead.
The eye witness said “The customs men stopped the man for carrying two bags of foreign rice, which they asked him to drop.
“It was in the process of arguing whether to drop the bag of rice or not that the man was shot dead. All we want is justice.”
The protesters vandalized the NCS post at Ovbiogie and carted away some goods already seized.
It was a reinforcement of soldiers that stopped the protesters from causing further damage.
A top official of NCS, who pleaded anonymity, said the men involved were from the NCS Federal Operating Unit in Owerri, Imo State.
Meanwhile, the Zonal Controller of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Federal operations Unit, zone C Owerri, Imo state, Mr. Olusemire Kayode, yesterday, disclosed that three trucks loaded with imported rice, with duty paid value to the tune of N240 million have been impounded by his men.
Speaking in Owerri, Olusemire said that 131 sacks of cannabis sativa with a duty paid value, DPV, of N4.1million, were seized along Benin-Ore Expressway.
The zonal controller added that the unit was able to achieve this within the first week of November, this year, adding that, four persons had been arrested in relation to the seized items.
Some of the seized items , according to him, include three Mercedes Benz 2014, 2012 and 2008 models; one Range Rover HSE ,2013; Toyota Venza ,2013, and 1,233 bags of foreign rice concealed with cartons of ‘33’ bear and Lucozade Boost drinks in different trucks among others.