The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Francis Ade Dosunmu, SHIPS & PORTS DAILYwas informed, promptly constituted an Orderly Room Trial Panel to investigate the incident.
It was gathered that the victim, a fruits and vegetable seller, was on her way to Ihunbo Market when a stray bullet allegedly fired by the Customs male officer, simply identified as Ade, hit and killed her.
“The Customs officers were at their checkpoint, and had already stopped and checked the bus the deceased was in. And as the bus was about to move, a motorcycle rider, conveying some bags of rice suspected to have been smuggled, was ordered to stop, but he refused to stop. So, Ade, the Customs officer, shot at the rider and a stray bullet hit Fausat inside the bus and she died,” a source, who sought anonymity, stated.
It was gathered that the locality had turned very tense, as certain angry persons, protesting the incident, had barricaded the arterial Idiroko Road, before they were dispersed by the Police, restoring order on the busy road and environs.
In an e-mail sent to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, reacting to the incident, the Customs Public Relations Officer (CPRO), Deputy Superintendent Chike Ngige, stated that a patrol team from the Area Command on “information patrol”, had at 6.00am last Thursday, along Ilashe area of Idiroko – Owode Road, Ipokia Local Government Area, accosted a suspected vehicle.
Ngige stated: “The driver of the vehicle tried to escape, to avoid proper Customs checks, and that prompted one of the patrol officers to aim the tyre of the vehicle to demobilize it. The bullet re-bounded on the hard surface of the road and hit a lady inside another vehicle. The lady was immediately rushed to the Customs Clinic at Idiroko for urgent medical attention, but she died shortly after arrival at the clinic.
“Meanwhile, the Area Controller, Ogun State Command is on top of the situation. The officer, who released the fatal shots, has been identified, and he is presently under detention.
“The Controller has constituted an immediate Orderly Room Trial Panel to interrogate the officer to ascertain his level of culpability, and if he is found culpable, he will be dismissed by Customs Service, and he will be subsequently handed over to the Police for possible prosecution.”
The CPRO explained that the CAC had called in the Police to help maintain peace and return normalcy to the restive area.
The CAC, according to the CPRO, has held several meetings with the family of the deceased, as well as the traditional ruler and other leaders of the community where she hailed from.
“The Controller has, therefore, asked the general public, particularly members of the affected community to remain calm, and to go about their normal businesses, as efforts are being made to ensure that justice is seen to be done,” Ngige added.