By Daud Olatunji
TRADITIONAL rulers in Yewa land in Ogun State have accused the Nigerian Customs Services of alleged extra- judicial killings of residents in the border towns of the state.
The traditional rulers, under the umbrella of Yewa Traditional Council made the allegation in a statement by 40 traditional rulers, condemning Customs’ activities in Yewa communities of the state.
The council, led by the Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewa land, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, alleged that Customs officers in the state’s border towns were fond of killing innocent citizens under the disguise of pursuing smugglers.
The council also claimed that the customs officers have also engaged in harassing royal fathers, accusing them of riding smuggled vehicles.
The council stated: “We are sad by the spate of harassment, maiming and killings of our people in Yewa communities and Ogun State by men of Nigerian Customs Service under the disguise of pursuing smugglers or raiding of shops where smugglers items are kept.”
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The traditional leaders lamented that these incessant killings are so rampant hence, appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari, Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu and Director-General of the Department of State Security Service, Alh Yusuf Bichi to help curb the excesses of Customs’ officers in the state.
The council also accused the Public Relations department of the Nigerian Customs Service of covering its atrocities by feeding the Press with distorted facts.
The council added: “The recent killings on Monday, 21st January at Owode-Yewa, Ogun State where five persons were killed and many injured in an irresponsible raid on the community.
“Regrettably, the Nigerian Custom Service, through the Public Relations department rushed to the Press to cover up their atrocities by claiming one person lost his life as if the life of one person means nothing to them.”