Friday, 30 August 2013

8 Feared Dead As Customs Clash With Villagers At Seme Border

NO fewer than six people, including two customs officers, were, on Thursday, feared dead as villagers and smugglers clashed with men of the Nigerian Customs Service in Badagry area of Lagos State.
The crisis started from a reprisal against a team of customs officers, who allegedly invaded Oglombo village, where a smuggler was shot dead during an attempt to impound a smuggled vehicle.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that problem started early Thursday, when a popular villager and smuggler in Oglombo, simply identified as Saturday, was trailed to the village by some customs officers.
The smuggler, who allegedly felt secured, having escaped from the customs officers, parked his vehicle in the village, where the officers caught up with him.
A disagreement ensued between Saturday and the customs officers and the smuggler was reportedly shot dead by an unidentified member of the customs team.
The death of Saturday reportedly sparked off protest from his colleagues and villagers, who had accused the customs officers of over-zealousness and high handedness.
A resident of Badagry, who spoke with the Nigerian Tribune, said the villagers went on the rampage, killing every customs officer that came their way.
Residents of the village, according to the source, had been looking for an opportunity to clash with the customs officers, who allegedly killed a resident of the village about two weeks ago
He, however, insisted that the number of people that died in the clash could not be less than 13, with no fewer than five customs officers and eight villagers and smugglers killed.
The image maker in charge of the state police command, Ngozi Braide, said one customs officer was killed and another one person, identified to be a villager, was injured.
She said the customs officers were on the trail of some suspected smugglers when an unidentified villager was hit by stray bullets.
Braide stated that the victim of the stray bullets did not die, but the villagers took the law into their hands and killed a customs officer.
Confirming the incident, the Customs Public Relations Officer of the command, Ernest Olottah, however, attributed the killing to the recent intensification of war against smuggling embarked upon by the command, which had led to over 686 seizures, as criminals were prevented from using the land border for perpetrating crimes.
According to the spokesman, the uncompromising stance of officers of the command against smuggling had made them come under series of attacks.
He disclosed that the Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Othman Abdul Saleh, in conjunction with other sister government agencies, had commenced moves to bring the perpetrators to book, adding that the incident would not deter men and officers of the command from carrying out their statutory functions.

“This is, indeed, a sad day for us in this command. But let me emphasise that we are not relenting in the discharge of our duty, as we will not allow the darkness of criminality to dampen the light of our service to our great country, Nigeria,” he said.

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  1. While would the custom take a life of someone, are they the law court?I believe this will teach them a lesson

  2. Dey are doin dis for u and ur children...

  3. Doing it 4 hu?

  4. Its for our good they r fighting

  5. Pls custom officers should take it easy not to hunt for human life

  6. Customs ar trying their best,government should pls encourage them to do more. Pls. I luv customs guys.

  7. I think its time for Nigerian Government to reform the NCS, and place the right and well trained officers as a security agents at the border. NCS are killing and injured Innocent civilian in the Name of discharging duty. it is obvious that most of them are not good enough to handle guns.
    you can only get the real truth from the eye witnesses.