1 Confirmed Dead As Customs, Ogun Community Youths Clash
1 person was killed during a clash between community youths and personnel of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Ayetoro, Yewa North Local Government rea of Ogun State.
The tragic incident occurred at the Kikelomo area of Ayetoro, early Tuesday morning
The Herald gathered that the victim was hit by a stray bullet.
Three others persons were left severely injured during the clash.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the incident to newsmen.
According to Oyeyemi, The Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun, had mandated the Area Commander in the area to get to the scene and douse the tension.
“We can confirm that one person was killed during the clash between smugglers and the NCS men.
“We learnt that the Customs men wanted to seize bags of rice that were smuggled into the area and in the process, one of them was attacked with a bottle.
“The Commissioner of Police has ordered the Area Commander and other DPOs in the area to move into the area and calm the situation.
“And as of now, the situation has been brought under control; there is no more violence in the area,” Oyeyemi said.
The clash reportedly occurred after personnel of the Nigeria Customs Service stormed the vicinity after receiving an alert that smuggling activities were taking place in the area.
The Custom officers allegedly fired gunshots while attempting to move out the bags of rice suspected to be smuggled.
The victim, Sola, was allegedly hit by a stray bullet fired by one of the customs personnel.
According to a number of unnamed eyewitnesses, the victim’s death immediately sparked the ensuing clash.
The youths had earlier formed a roadblock to block the NCS officers from entering into an alleged illegal warehouse.
Sola, the victim, was reportedly appeasing the youths to lower their stance and allow the NCS officers carry out their investigations, when he was hit by the stray bullet.
“The Customs officers were going to their duty post when some youths formed a roadblock to stop them. The guy, who was shot, was one of those that came to appeal to the youth to allow the officers to go about their duty.
“He was hit by a stray bullet when the officers started shooting,” an eyewitness narrated.
The alleged illegal warehouse was reported to have been riddled with bullets.
It was reported, afterwards, that youths from the victim’s village stormed the scene of the incident and confronted security agents with various types of weapons.
The Public Relations Officer, NCS, Zone ‘A’, Theophilus Duniya, claimed 3 NCS officers were injured while trying to carry out their duties.
He condemned the hooligans for attacking the officers after they had intercepted six Ford buses loaded with smuggled foreign parboiled rice.
“The acting Controller is very concerned about the loss of life and the serious injuries inflicted on the officers, which were totally avoidable if only the youth were patriotic enough to know that the officers were just performing their lawful duties. He also cautioned the youth to reject being used by economic saboteurs to confront operatives of the service from carrying out their lawful duties.
“Normalcy has since returned to the area through the combined efforts of officers of the service and the Nigerian Army. DC Usman Yahaya, while thanking law-abiding citizens for supporting our operations, also warned people with criminal intentions to immediately desist from such, because officers/men of the unit are well mobilised and backed up by extant laws and shall remain resolute at enforcing the laws without fear of intimidation,” a statement released the PRO read.