One of the injured officers being attended to.

Gunmen in their numbers yesterday attacked officers and men of the Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun I Command Military personnel during which four Customs officers, one soldier and five civilians sustained gunshot injuries. This follows the interception of a total of 320 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice stocked in a warehouse around the Oja-Odan area of Yewa North in Ogun State.

Meanwhile, Customs Area Controller in charge of the Ogun 1 Command, Comptroller Peter Kolo has vowed that the command under his watch has stepped up its anti-smuggling activities, warning everyone that the renewed hostilities against the operatives would not deter the command.

According to a statement signed by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent Hammed Oloyede, it was in an attempt to evacuate the intercepted bags of rice that the smugglers armed with dangerous and sophisticated weapons and aided by some members of the community and hoodlums attacked the officers and civilians helping to evacuate the product.

He disclosed that the diehard smugglers shot sporadically at the officers and men as well as the civilians, which led to the four Customs officers, one soldier and five civilians sustaining gunshot injuries. It was also gathered that the injured officers and civilians are currently receiving treatment at undisclosed hospitals.

The statement reads in part: “At 0200hours of today, 6th of May, 2021, officers and men of Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun I Command Military personnel were on information patrol to Oja-Odan, Yewa North of Ogun State.

 “Based on credible intelligence, the patrol team intercepted about 320 (three hundred and twenty) bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each out of the large number stockpiled in a building around the said area.

”During evacuation of the said rice, some diehard smugglers aided by unscrupulous elements and hoodlums in their numbers and armed with sophisticated weapons shot and attacked the patrol team.

“They shot sporadically at officers. Unfortunately, four (4) Customs Operatives, one (1) Soldier and five (5) civilians assisting in evacuation sustained gunshot injuries. They were immediately rushed to the hospital for proper medical attention and are currently responding to treatment”.

It was however gathered that the patrol team repressed the attack by gunning down two of the hoodlums and left many others with gunshot injuries, enabled the team to successfully evacuating the items.

The statement also confirmed that one suspect, identified as Mr. Taiye Kujo and Six motorcycles used by the suspected smugglers, while the consignment was conveyed all to the Customs House at Idiroko even as investigations have begun fish out more perpetrators of this barbaric act.

The CAC, Comptroller Kolo, while reacting to the incident, assured the general public that the renewed hostilities by armed smugglers will not deter our officers and men from discharging their statutory responsibilities.

He further appealed to the Traditional Rulers and community leaders to warn their subjects to desist from smuggling activities and attacks on security operatives as anyone caught would be made to face the full wrath of the law.