The Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, who has consistently turned blind eyes to the frequent and unwarranted killings of unarmed civilians in the southwest by his officials, on Wednesday ordered an investigation into the accident involving an operational vehicle of the organisation, which killed six people at the border town of Jibiya, Kastina State, on Monday.
SHIPS & PORTS recently reported that no fewer than 30 people have been killed in the southwest by Ali’s Customs officials but the Comptroller-General did not, at any time, order an investigation into the incidents.
However, in a move that points to double standards, Ali directed that “a holistic investigation into the incident” at Jibiya be conducted.
Some customs officers were reportedly chasing rice smugglers when they ran into the victims leading to the death of some with many others injured.
Customs Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, in a statement, said it was an “unfortunate operational accident,” caused by brake failure.
He expressed Ali’s condolences, with a promise to ensure that those injured would receive the best medical attention.
The statement read in part, “As a responsible government agency, we are mindful of the duty of care imposed upon us to ensure the safety of our citizens.
“Unfortunately, our efficiency is sometimes undermined by unanticipated failures in our equipment as in this case which was caused by brake failure, resulting in the death of eight fellow Nigerians and injuries to others at the border town of Jibiya, Katsina State.
“Nigeria Customs Service shares in the pains of losing these compatriots and extends heartfelt condolences to the immediate families of the deceased, government and the people of Katsina State.
“The service is doing all it takes to get the best treatment possible for the injured and will do what it can to ameliorate the pains of those who lost their loved ones.
“Even though human actions cannot always keep society accident free, the CGC has already directed a holistic investigation into the incident with a view to preventing a recurrence of this unfortunate accident in the future.”
Many well-meaning Nigerians including traditional rulers and members of the National Assembly have called on Ali to stop the unwarranted killing of unarmed citizens in the southwest but the Comptroller-General has refused to heed the calls.