Rampaging smugglers terrorising the borders of Ogun State have killed a customs officer at Sango area of Ota and injured another during an encounter.
This is as some group of smugglers kidnapped and killed an officer of Nigeria Customs Service some months ago, also in Ogun State, with the security agents perfecting an arrest of the killers.
In a press statement made available to The Tide last Wednesday by the Public Relations Officer of the command, Abdullahi Maiwada, the Customs Area Controller, Michael Agbara said the officer was killed after an encounter with smugglers.
Maiwada who gave the name of the deceased officer as Hamisu Sani said another officer, Tijani John Michael was injured but was responding to treatment.
He said: “Officers of Nigeria Customs Service Ogun Command on routine patrol, based on credible information at about 02:30 hours intercepted eight reconstructed vehicles fully loaded with smuggled rice and kept in a hideout at Asero Community.
“In an attempt to lawfully secure the said items, the smugglers and their accomplice ambushed the Officers in a deadly like manner.
“Unfortunately during the encounter, one of the Officers, a Customs Assistant I, Hamisu Sani, sustained grievous injuries and paid the supreme price (died) in active Service. He has since been buried according to Islamic rites. Also, an Inspector of Customs, Tijani John Michel, sustained serious machete cut but is responding to treatment in the hospital.”
Although the NCS PRO said that two suspects in connection with the crime have been arrested by the police .
“Two suspects have been arrested by police and eight vehicles fully loaded with smuggled rice have been secured in connection with the incident at Customs House, Abeokuta for further investigation.
“While we commend the patriotic role of our sister agencies and law abiding citizens, we wish to categorically state that we will deploy all necessary apparatus to ensure that the perpetrators of this devilish act are brought to book to face the full wrath of the law.
“Finally, the reoccurrence of such form of hostilities and intimidation by smugglers and their accomplice on our officers and men will never distract us from vigorously discharging our statutory functions,” the statement said.
It would be recalled that a customs officer, Rasheed Abdulsalam, attached to the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, Lagos was also kidnapped recently after a fierce clash with notorious smugglers.
Some of his colleagues also sustained varying degrees of injuries in the bloody anti-smuggling operation that occurred at night around Gateway Hotel, Ota, Ogun State.
Stories by Chinedu Wosu