Sporadic shooting : Our officers were under attack, threat to life – Ogun 1 Customs

Illustrative pictures of Customs vehicles attacked by smugglers

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Sporadic shooting :
Our officers were under attack, threat to life – Ogun 1 Customs

...Says officers acted in self-defense

The Ogun 1 Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has defended the action of its operatives in the viral video showing sporadic shooting while on anti-smuggling duty.

Investigation revealed that the officers were under severe attack by hoodlums instigated by smugglers against them while on statutory duty. The officers acted in self-defense, as their lives were in danger. The sporadic shooting was the only option to protect them from economic saboteurs.

Illustrative pictures of Customs vehicles attacked by smugglers while on duty 

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Command, SC HAMMED BUKOYE OLOYEDE, confirmed the incident. His explanation : “On Saturday, 16th of December, 2023, along Lanfewa/Enu gada axis of Ogun State, the operatives of Ogun 1 Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, while evacuating some smuggled goods from 2 faulty vehicles used as means of conveyance, came under attack by hoodlums mobilised by smugglers of the unwholesome goods.

“The seriousness of the attack and threat to officers’ lives led to a call for reinforcement. During the melee that ensued at about 0715 hours of that day, our operatives repelled the attack to save their lives. They left the scene with the secured seizure and prevented the hoodlums from further attack until they finally exited the area.

“The seizure was successfully conveyed to Government Warehouse at Customs House, Abeokuta, without any casualty.

“I would like to state emphatically that the Command under the leadership of the Ag. Customs Area Controller, Ahmadu Shuaibu values the lives of its host communities and frowns at the arbitrary use of firearms.

“However, in situations with severe threat to life, the rules of engagement must be evoked for self-protection.

“The Command regrets the compelling and unfortunate situation that might have put the residents of the said axis and the public in fear. While carrying out our lawful duty, we shall not renege in our effort to ensure the safety of the good people of Ogun State.

“Our operatives shall continue to operate within the ambit of the law and in conformity with the rules of engagement.

“It is pertinent to inform you that the Nigeria Customs Service Act (NCSA) 2023 frowns at obstruction, molestation, or assaults of officers on lawful duty, with the infliction of punishment on offenders such as conviction to a fine of N5million and imprisonment for 5 years or both.

“Also, Section 226 of the NCSA empowers Customs operatives to carry out patrols freely, which applies to our anti-smuggling operations in Ogun State.”

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