NURTW accuses Customs of extra-judicial killing, demands N500m compensation

The National Union of Road Transport Workers J5 branch in Jos and the Plateau State Traders and Marketers Association of Bayan Banki in Jos-North are demanding the sum of N500 million from the Nigeria Customs Service over alleged extra judicial killing of one Salisu Badamasi and injury to Adam Sani by its operatives in Ogun State.

In a petition written to the Comptroller General Nigeria Custom Service, Hameed Ali, the NURTW and the Traders and Market Association through their lawyers, Akib Idris and associates, alleged that the attack on Badamasi and Sani came a few days after men of the Nigerian Custom around Shagamu in Ogun State molested, detained and seized the goods of some travellers returning from Lagos to Jos.

The petition alleged that the owner of the seized goods, Hamza Ali Muhammad, had tried to secure the release of the goods, but the Customs officers detained him even after he presented his purchase receipts of goods bought from Trade Fair market in Lagos State, adding that “the said officers compelled him to pay the sum of N400, 000 before he was subsequently released along with his goods”.

It however noted that a day after their release, Badamasi, Sani and other traders returning to Jos, were equally stopped by the same Customs officers around Ogere in Ogun State, where they demanded for gratification but the traders refused. They alleged that the Customs officers opened fire on the traders, killing Badamasi and injuring Sani in the leg.

It said the matter was reported to the Isara-Remo divisional police station in Ogun State and the police assisted in conveying the dead and injured to the Ogun State University Teaching hospital.

The complainants urged the Comptroller General to investigate the matter and punish those involved. They also asked for a refund of the N400,000 earlier collected from the traders as well as restrain Customs officers from further harassing and extorting money from traders or the union will seek legal action.

When contacted, the Nigeria Customs Service in Plateau State through the Public Relations Officer, Bashir Shamsudeen, yesterday said the state service was not officially notified of the incident and therefore could not comment.

Efforts to reach the spokesperson of the Ogun State command of the Nigeria Customs, Usman Abdullahi, proved abortive, as he did not respond to calls put through to him.

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