One feared dead as Customs, Smugglers clash in Ogun

One person was feared killed in a clash between operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service and suspected rice smugglers in Monday in Owode, Ogun State.

It was gathered that the customs anti-smuggling operatives in a bid to raid a Church where the smuggled rice were kept, were met with stiff resistance from irate mobs, which resulted in a man being hit by a bullet.
While the suspected rice smugglers regrouped on Tuesday for reprisal attacks on the customs operatives, the Customs Public Relations Officer, Ogun Area Command, Abdullahi Aliyu Maiwada, who bemoaned a similar incident on January 6, 2019, that claimed the life of an officer on duty, confirmed that two officers seriously injured, while some others sustained degrees of injuries.
He said: “Unfortunately, at about of Monday afternoon (21st January, 2019), some smugglers and their accomplices gang-up against an Anti-smuggling Team from discharging its legitimate functions at Owode, Yewa community.”
The officers who went on an operation to save Nigerian economy from the mayhem of smugglers who stocked a place of worship and some houses nearby with rice suspected to have been smuggled into Nigeria.
“The team faced stiff resistance from some armed criminals inflicting serious injuries on two officers and minor injuries on other members of the team, and further destroyed official patrol vehicles.
“The encounter led to exchange of fire between officers and smugglers with their accomplices. For peace to reign, the team resorted to tactical withdrawal. However, the hoodlums took laws into their hands by barricading the main road leading to Idiroko, looking for Customs Officers to attack. They are also battling with law enforcement agencies to gain access to Customs formations for further confrontation.
“We wish to commend the patriotic roles of our sister Agencies and law abiding citizens in assisting the Command to achieve its lawful duty of revenue collection and suppression of smuggling in the interest of our dear country. We wish to categorically state that we will continue to fight the anti-smuggling crusade against all odds,” he said.