By James Ogunnaike – Abeokuta
No fewer than two persons were confirmed dead, while ten others sustained gunshot injuries as hoodlums suspected to be smugglers allegedly attacked officials of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Ogun 1 command at Oja-Odan in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun state on Thursday.
A statement issued by the command spokesman, DSC Bukoye Oloyede, said, based on credible intelligence, the patrol team intercepted about three hundred and twenty bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each out of the large number stockpiled in a building around the said area.
The statement read, “at 0200hours of Thursday, 6th of May, 2021, Officers and Men of Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun I Command Military personnel were on information patrol to Oja-Odan, Yewa North of Ogun State”.
“Based on credible intelligence, the patrol team intercepted about three hundred and twenty bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each out of the large number stockpiled in a building around the said area”.
“During the evacuation of the said rice, some diehard smugglers aided by unscrupulous elements and hoodlums in their numbers and armed with sophisticated weapons shot and attacked the patrol team”.
“They shot sporadically at officers. Unfortunately, four Customs operatives, one soldier and five civilians assisting in the evacuation sustained gunshot injuries”.
“They were immediately rushed to the hospital for proper medical attention and are currently responding to treatment”
“The patrol team repressed the attack by gunning down two of the hoodlums and left many others with gunshot injuries”
“The patrol team succeeded in evacuating the aforementioned items, arrested one suspect, Mr Taiye Kujo and six motorcycles used by the suspected smugglers, and conveyed all to the Customs house at Idiroko”
Oloyede added that investigation is ongoing to fish out more perpetrators of this barbaric act.
Meanwhile, the Ogun Area 1 Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Peter Kolo has assured the general public that the renewed hostilities by armed smugglers will not deter his officers and men from discharging their statutory responsibilities.
He further appealed to the traditional rulers and community leaders to warn their subjects to desist from smuggling activities and attack on security operatives, as anyone caught shall be made to face the wrath of the law.