PAUL OMOKUVIE, Bauchi
Nigeria Customs Service has refuted allegations that its operatives attacked a car along Ningi-Kano road which led to the death of a journalist and four others.
The Public Relations Officer, Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘D’ Bauchi of the service, Suleiman Isah, made this known in a statement made available to newsmen in Bauchi on Wednesday.
He said the allegations were made by the friend of the deceased journalist on tweeter.
Isah said their attention was drawn to misleading tweets by @KNingi on his tweeter handle purporting that “officers of the @CustomsNG yesterday (Saturday) along Ningi-Kano road attack a driver carrying bags of rice.
He said that the tweeter user added that “incidentally this resulted to the death of about five passenger’s including my friend reporter of @daily_trust Bashir Musa Liman.”
Isah, an Assistant Superintendent of Customs II, said that the tweet was false, mischievous and aimed at “misleading the public that the operatives of Nigeria Customs Service have a hand in the accident that caused loss of lives.”
He said: “This story is mischievous, misleading and false in its entirety. As responsible operatives of government, our heart and prayers go to the families of the deceased. We pray the Almighty Allah to grant the deceased Aljannatul-Firdausi.
“Immediately after reading the misleading tweet, we began to find out what actually happened; eyewitnesses, including a brother of one of the deceased, have clearly shown that the operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service were never associated with the accident since there was none on that road.
“Every narration revolved around over-speeding and attempt to overtake which led to the fatal accident. We also gathered that one of the vehicles involved in the accident was carrying some bags of rice and some people thought it could have been operatives of the NCS that caused the accident,” he stated.
The Customs PRO advised that any person interested in further verification of his statement was free to contact any appropriate authority like the Nigeria Police Force “that might have been on the road when this unfortunate accident happened.”
Isah noted that: “As humans, we share in the pain of losing loved ones. Let me use this opportunity to call on @KNingi.1d and indeed other social media users to be extra careful and verify their stories before posting or tweets on social media especially when it concerns such serious issue like human life.
“Let me, once again, extend the condolences of the service to the families of the deceased and pray for road safety for every traveler.”