(From Chiazo Ogbolu, NAN)
Some Customs officers serving at the Federal Operations Unit Zone “A’’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have been attacked by hoodlums working with smugglers.
Deputy Comptroller, Usman Yahaya, made the disclosure in a statement by Mr Theophilus Duniya, Public Relations Officer of Federal Operations Unit Zone A of NCS, in Lagos on Tuesday.
According to Yahaya, at about 800 hours on Dec. 22, 2020, the officers who were carrying out their statutory duty of enforcing anti-smuggling laws acted on intelligence.
“They intercepted six Ford buses laden with foreign parboiled rice at Kikelomo area of Ayetoro, Ogun State.
“Upon interception, some hoodlums who were armed with dangerous weapons and charms while working in support of the smugglers swiftly mobilised themselves and attacked our officers to prevent the seizure from being taken away.
“Three customs officers sustained various degrees of injuries from the attack and in the pandemonium that ensued, one person was hit by a bullet in the process of resistance.
“The wounded officers are currently receiving treatment at our medical facility while further investigations into bringing the perpetrators of the attack to book have commenced,” he said.
He noted that he was very concerned about the loss of life and the serious injuries inflicted on the officers which were totally avoidable if only the youths were patriotic enough to know that the officers were just performing their lawful duties.
He also cautioned youths 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 combined efforts of officers of the service and the Nigerian Army.
“While thanking law-abiding citizens for supporting our operations, we also warn people with criminal intentions to immediately desist from such.
“This is because officers/men of the unit are well mobilised, backed up by the extant laws and shall remain resolute at enforcing the laws without fear of intimidation,’’ he said.