Uche Usim, Abuja
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Sunday gave clearer insight into how one life was lost in a clash between its operatives and suspected smugglers.
Although the social media is awash with conflicting accounts of the incident, the Spokesman of the Service, Joseph Attah, while regretting the death of a commuter (Godwin) at the Shagamu interchange along Ijebu Ode on Sunday, said his demise sprang from an attempt to obstruct lawful performance of Customs officers on duty by passengers of a commercial bus (a white Toyota Hiace) suspected to be carrying bales of used clothing.
He also said a Customs Officer, Destiny Onebamho, was seriously injured in the incident.
Attah said: “Contrary to some narratives, the young man was not a passenger of the bus but a good citizen who always come to fetch water for Customs Patrol men anytime they return to the base.
“Preliminary finding indicate that it was during the skirmishes and struggle to disarm the Officer that the riffle discharged and hit the friend of the Customs (Godwin) who lost his life. The Service is already in touch with the bereaved family.
“Sadly, it should be noted that while attention shifted to the dead and the wounded, the passengers who filmed with inciting commentaries boarded their vehicle and left, leaving the wrong impression that it was one of them that was killed”, he explained.
The Customs Spokesperson said the wounded Officer was currently under intensive care at an undisclosed hospital, while the patrol team has been recalled to the office for further investigation.