By James Ogunnaike
A middle-aged man, Idowu Moses, on Saturday sustained gunshot injury following a clash between men of the Nigerian Customs Service and smugglers in Oja Odan, in Yewa South local government area of Ogun State.
Moses, who is the Chairman of Nigerian Association of Panel Beaters, Oja Odan branch, was hit by a stray bullet allegedly shot by a customs officer who was chasing smugglers in the area.
He was rushed to a hospital for medical attention.
Sources said some operatives of the NCS were in Oja Odan in about three patrol vehicles.
The sources said residents of the community could not identify what really led to the shootings by the Customs personnel.
“We didn’t know what happened. We just heard gunshots from the Customs officers and we saw Idowu on the floor. This is not the first time things like this is happening. We are tired,” an eyewitness recounted.
It was said that the NCS officers fled the community immediately they discovered somebody was hit by their bullet.
It was gathered that Idowu went into coma as he was shot in the head.
“The bullet entered his head. We rushed him to the hospital immediately. They told us to go and remove the bullet. We took him somewhere to remove the bullet and we took him back to the hospital after that. We are just praying he doesn’t die. He is presently in coma,” a source said anonymously.
Reacting to the incident, a member of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon. Wahab Haruna Egungbohun condemned the indiscriminate shooting of innocent souls in Yewa area of the state by men of the Nigeria Customs Service.
He frowned at the unprofessional act of Nigeria Customs saying that they are only mandated by the law to arrest and arraign smugglers in their pursuit to protect national integrity.
He added that it is not part of their duty to pursue smugglers to the town and start shooting, stressing that innocent souls are most times killed while shooting in the name of chasing smugglers.
Egungbohun, therefore, appealed to the Federal and State governments to as a matter of urgency take a look at the way men of the Nigeria Customs discharge their duty, reiterating that it’s becoming unbearable for people again as a community can no longer continue to be losing innocent souls in the hands of customs every day.
When contacted, the Ogun 1 NCS Area Command Spokesperson, Hammed Oloyede, said he has not received any information about the incident.
He promised to get back to our correspondent as soon as he receives detail about the incident