Customs in Ogun State trails killers of officer on duty
*Culprits must face prosecution – Says Comptroller Agbara
(Report by Udeme Clement):
Idiroko, the border between Nigeria and Benin Republic is a very volatile area, as some individuals residing within Idiroko border communities take smuggling as a means of livelihood. As such, they see Customs officers enforcing government policies as threats to their business, so they attack officers at a slightest provocation.
Our investigations revealed that there are cases where smugglers at Idiroko violently attacked and killed officers on duty.
But one Area Controller, who has given smugglers a tough time at Idiroko is Comptroller Michael Agbara, the current Customs Area Controller (CAC), of Ogun- 1 Command. Agbara and his officers remain formidable and undeterred despite incessant attacks by dreaded smugglers at Idiroko.
These uncompromising officers have mastered the technicalities of chasing smugglers within the border lines, even within the forest and creeks. Their doggedness and gallantry efforts can be seen in the mind-boggling seizures of over N397million recorded by the Command in third quarter of 2020.
At the moment, Comptroller Agbara disclosed that his Command is trailing the killers of his officer identified as AIC Solomon Alayge, during the END-SARS protest hijacked by hoodlums and smugglers.
He made this known at a press conference while responding to questions on proactive measures taken by the Command to track the killers.
He vowed that the culprits must be made to face the wrath of the law.
“Investigation is on-going to unravel those behind such barbaric act. The killers of our officer must be prosecuted according to the law.
“For example, there is another sad incident, which happened in 2019, the case is already in court . All those Involved in the murder must be punished accordingly.
Speaking further, Comptroller Agbara mentioned the porous border as one of the challenges facing officers at Idiroko border. Others include the use of motorcycles (popularly known as Okada) for smuggling at the border, hostile border communities and limited logistics.
He pointed out, “Some areas have over 60 illegal routes but we are not relenting in carrying out our duties effectively”.
Comptroller Agbara expressed great pleasure to CGC Hameed Ali and his Management team for the support the Command is receiving from headquarters.
Our Correspondent gathered that Ogun -1 Command through fresh impetus by
Comptroller Agbara as the CAC has uncovered different methods of smuggling through the border, the use of vehicles fabricated with extra-iron carriers to convey large quantities of prohibited items, even concealment of contraband in engine parts of vehicles, among others.
More so, during the END-SARS protest, hoodlums attacked many patrol teams of Ogun- 1 Command. Their patrol units were vandalised and set ablaze, even as operational vehicles were shattered. Notwithstanding, the CAC is beefing up security and restoring control in the Command.