By James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
Authorities of the Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit (FOU) have declared that it was hoodlums who attacked its personnel in Kikelomo area of Ayetoro, the headquarters of Yewa North local government area of Ogun State on Tuesday while carrying out their constitutional duty of anti-smuggling.
The Public Relations Officer of the FOU unit Zone A of the NCS, DSC Theophilus Duniya who disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, said three Customs officers sustained various degrees of injuries while one person was hit by stray bullet during the attack.
The statement read, “At about 0800 hours of Tuesday 22nd December, 2020, officers of FOU Zone ‘A’, while carrying out their statutory duty of enforcing anti-smuggling laws; acted on intelligence and intercepted six Ford buses laden with foreign parboiled rice at Kikelomo area of Ayetoro, Ogun State”.
“Upon the interception, some hoodlums who were armed by with dangerous weapons and charms while working in support of smugglers swiftly mobilize themselves and attacked our officers in their bid to prevent the seizure from being taken away”.
“Three Customs officers sustained various degrees of injuries from the attack. In the pandemonium that ensued, one person was hit by a bullet in the process of resistance. The wounded officers are currently receiving treatment at our medical facility while further investigation into bringing the perpetrators of the attack to book has commenced”.
“The Acting Controller is very concerned about the loss of life and the serious injuries inflicted on the officers which was totally avoidable if only the youths were patriotic enough to know that the officers were just performing their lawful duties”.
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“He also cautioned the youths to reject being used by economic saboteurs to confront operatives of the Service from carrying out their lawful duties”.
Duniya said, normalcy has since returned to the area through combined efforts of officers of the Service and the Nigerian Army.
DC Usman Yahaya, while thanking the law abiding citizens for supporting our operations, also warned people with criminal intentions to desist from such because officers/men of the Unit are well mobilized, backed up by the extant laws and shall remain resolute at enforcing the laws without fear of intimidation”.