Nigeria: Unknown Customs officer kills two, injures many in Owode-Yewa, Ogun state
London, Jan. 23, 2019 (AltAfrica)- The traditional ruler of Owode-Yewa in Ogun State of Nigeria, Oba M. S. Akindele has called for a high-power investigation on the killing of two people in the town by men of Nigeria Customs Service on Monday.
According to a COMMUNIQUE release by the monarch on Tuesday after a meeting of elders in the community, investigation should be conducted immediately to ascertain the killer-customs officers involved in dastardly incident for justice.
Alternativeafrica.com learnt that there was pandemonium on Tuesday in the town, Owode-Yewa, Ogun State when irate youths protested at the office of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) located in Ajileti following an unsuccessful raid on a Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) parish by Customs officers on Monday which left two people dead
Customs officials had stormed the church on Monday after discovering loads of smuggled bags of rice hidden in vehicles parked inside the church premises by suspected smugglers but were unable to cart away the banned items due to resistance by irate youths purportedly mobilized by the smugglers.
One of the youths explained that Customs officers shot and killed one Kunle on Monday after youths tried to stop the Customs officials from carrying out a raid in the house of God, the CCC church.
“They wanted to ransack the house of God, but we stopped them and they started shooting. One of our colleagues, Kunle is dead. We have mobilised today to teach them a lesson, ”he said
When contacted, the spokesman of the Ogun State Command of the NCS, Abdullahi Aliyu Maiwada, explained that Customs officers shot in self-defence after being attacked by the youths mobilised by the smugglers.
Maiwada stated that, “As I speak to you, the situation is still not under control because a mob is threatening to attack our formation in Ajileti. The genesis of the whole issue started on Monday when our officers attempted to evacuate smuggled bags of rice from a CCC church in Owode. The smugglers mobilised the youths of the town and they attacked our men with dangerous weapons.
“Our men had to defend themselves by shooting to scare away the marauding mob. The youths attacked our officers with guns, stones, cutlasses and many other dangerous weapons. We had to defend ourselves, and our only means of defence is our rifles. Our officers had to do what we call ‘tactical withdrawal’ on Monday. Our men shot in the air to disperse the marauding mob and later withdrew back to our formation.”
“Our rules of engagement allow our men to use their rifles if every other means of reconciliation fails. We needed to control the situation and defend ourselves. All this happened yesterday (Monday). However, today (Tuesday), the youths again mobilised themselves and started doing stop and search, looking for Customs officers to maim, because they were all armed with dangerous weapons.
“As I am talking to you, this mob has closed down the roads, looking for our men to attack. The situation is not currently under control and most of our men have withdrawn to Ajileti for safety reasons. Right now, we hear that the Army and Police are battling to prevent them from advancing to Ajileti,” he said.
He added that, “On January 5, 2019, we lost one of our officers to smugglers-induced mob action, and we would not allow such situation to repeat itself again.”
The COMMUNIQUE by the community reads in part:
This statement is issued to express our displeasure and grief over the killing of our citizens, names, sex, and age stated below:
1. Bello, Mohammed Jamiu, Male, 32 Years 2. Adeleye Taiwo, Male, 39 Years.
“That a high-power investigation be conducted to ascertain the customs officers involved in this dastardly incident;
“That the killer-customs officers be identified within 24hours or reasonable time in order to guarantee the safety of the town;
“That those found culpable be made to face the full wrath of the law;
“That the families of the deceased be adequately compensated as they all left wives and children behind
“That the hospital bills of those injured be paid fully.
“That the shops and the vehicles damaged be repaired fully;
“Finally, that we demand strongly that the incessant killings be stopped forthwith and the constant harassment of the community be put an end.
“This COMMUNIQUE was signed by Olu of Owode in Council and Other prominent sons and daughters of Owode”.
The corpses of the victims have since been deposited at the General Hospital, Ota, Ogun State.