Last Friday was a fateful day in Lagos as operatives of the Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) engaged smugglers in a gun battle at Mile 2 area along Badagry Expressway. This was barely two hours after armed soldiers stormed Palmgrove area along Ikorodu road attacking Lagos State Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) drivers and setting no fewer than six of the buses ablaze over the death of one of their own.
SHIPS & PORTS DAILY gathered that some operatives of the anti-smuggling unit were chasing the smugglers who had smuggled frozen poultry products and bags of rice into the country.
The incident caused pandemonium causing huge traffic, and leaving motorists and commuters stranded at the ever busy Mile 2 bus stop.
When contacted, spokesman of the unit, Uche Ejesieme, confirmed the incident to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY. He said that the poultry products and rice were smuggled into the country through unapproved route.
He said the smugglers and drivers of the trucks used for smuggling the commodities took to their heels on sighting the officers only to reappear with some hoodlums to attack the officers.
He said despite the hostility meted on the officers, the team led by one Superintendent Abdulahi Emmanuel was able to tow the trucks to the unit’s headquarters in Lagos adding that no casualty was recorded.
He said, “We had some information of some trucks carrying some poultry products and rice coming from Badagry axis and obviously the consignments came from unapproved routes. They were bringing them in cars and later they now loaded it into trucks. So we mobilized our men and intercepted a total of nine trucks.
“On interception, all the drivers abandoned the trucks and took to their heel but the next thing that happened was a kind of mob attack. They disappeared only to mobilize themselves and hoodlums now decided to join them with dangerous weapons but because the officers are well trained, they were able to bring the nine trucks and the truckers to the headquarters of the unit despite the hostility.”