Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The Ogun State command of the Nigeria Customs Service, on Sunday, lost one of its officers, while another one sustained serious machete cuts when their patrol vehicle was ambushed and attacked by suspected smugglers.
The two officers, according to a statement issued on Monday by the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the command, Abdullahi Aliyu Maiwada, had intercepted eight reconstructed vehicles fully loaded with smuggled bags of rice, kept in a hideout at Asero community, in Odeda Local Government Area of the state.
The PRO explained that it was when the NCS operatives attempted to lawfully secure the smuggled items that the smugglers and their accomplices allegedly ambushed them in a deadly manner.
During the encounter, Maiwada said one of the officers, a customs assistant, Hamisu Sani, sustained serious injuries and died, whil Inspector of Customs, Tijani John Michel, barely escaped with serious machete cuts.
“The fallen officer has since been buried according Islamic rites, while the injured inspector is responding to treatment in hospital.
“Meanwhile, two suspects have been arrested in by the police in connection with the incident and eight vehicles fully loaded with the smuggled rice have also been secured and transported to Customs House in 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 re occurrence 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,” Maiwada stated.