At least one person has been confirmed dead following a clash between officers of Nigeria Customs Services and some rice smugglers in Oke Ola area of Ilaro, Yewa South Local Government area of Ogun State on Saturday.
Trouble started when Customs officers stormed a hideout where the imported rice were stored, shooting into the air to scare the smugglers. The smugglers were said to have engaged the officers in a gun battle that led to the killing of an innocent boy who was playing football with his colleagues at the Local Government Primary School, Oke-Ola, Ilaro.
An eye witness account who preferred anonymity said, that, no fewer than five persons sustained gun injuries during the encounter.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Ogun 1 Area Command of the NCS, Ahmed Oloyede confirmed the incident, which he described as unfortunate, even as he said he did not have details of what transpired.
“I heard about the incident but I have not gotten detailed information about what happened. What I was briefed was that it was a joint operation that was conducted by the border drill officers and FOU.
“They made some seizure and there was an altercation between them and the smugglers. They were attacked and all they could do to disperse the smugglers proved abortive. In the process, the smugglers tried to lynch the officers. So, they have to find their way out.
“I don’t have detailed information at hand yet, but that’s just the brief information I have about the incident.
“It is very unfortunate that when officers make an arrest, you see people, hoodlums in their large numbers attacking operatives. Even the so-called innocent ones are being used for this. You see people with arms in their hands, carrying weapons.
“It is unfortunate you see people fighting officers, trying to kill them. This is just exactly like the one that happened in Ayetoro recently. If people continue to attack officers, block their ways, what do you expect officers to do? Operatives are always applying caution in accordance with extant rules of engagement.”