Following the clash between men of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and some suspected smugglers at the Kobape axis of the Abeokuta-Sagamu highway, Ogun State, no fewer than two persons have been confirmed dead.
It was earlier reported that the NCS officer opened fire on the suspected smugglers during the clash, leaving residents and road users stranded for hours as they ran helter skelter.
The Public Relations Officer of the Federal Operating Unit, FOU Zone A, Theophilus Duniya, told newsmen on Saturday that the customs officers were attacked without provocation.
According to him, “the patrol team had intercepted twelve vehicles of different kinds, laden with bags of foreign parboiled rice and were on their way to the government warehouse before smugglers mobilized themselves with the support of their sympathizers and attacked the team with dangerous weapons.”
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Duniya confirmed that that “during the exchange of gun fire, two of the attackers lost their lives,” saying one other was was arrested.
“Out of 12 vehicles in the convoy of the smugglers, our operatives were able to leave with 4 of them laden with smuggled foreign parboiled rice. The arrested suspect and the seizure have been brought to the Unit Headquarters, Ikeja.
“The Ag. Controller of the Unit, Hussein K Ejibunu frowned at the avoidable loss of lives due to the unprovoked attack.
“He has ordered full scale Investigations into the matter to apprehend other fleeing suspects with their smuggled wares.
“Two of our wounded operatives from the attack are presently receiving treatment in a medical facility.”