The House of Representatives has asked the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to pay the sum of N390 million as compensation to families of persons reportedly killed and brutalised last year by Customs personnel in Iseyin, Ibarapa, Jibia and other communities in Oyo State.
The lawmakers had last year, while adopting separate motions sponsored by Shina Peller and Ajibola Muraina, mandated its Committee on Customs and Excise to investigate the killings with a view to ensuring that victims are adequately compensated.
At the investigative hearing in October, families of victims had demanded compensation from the service as well as a public apology for the barbaric acts.
While the relatives of the Iseyin, Oyo State victims had asked for N4.5 billion as compensation for the four killed and one injured, the families of the Igangan, Igbo Ora, Ayete and Tapa in the Ibarapa area of Oyo State demanded N700 million.
The House considering and adopting the recommendations contained in three reports, presented by Chairman Committee on Customs and Excise, Leke Abejide, said life has no duplicate and cannot be replaced once lost, as such, the families of the deceased should be compensated in monetary terms.
According to the lawmakers, each of the four persons killed by Customs officials in the Iseyin incidence should be compensated by the NCS with the sum of N20 million, while those that sustained gunshot injury should be paid the sum of N2 million each as compensation for the treatment of the injuries sustained. The lawmakers approved the same compensation plan for the 10 persons killed and 13 injured by Customs officials in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State last year.
That the House also considered and approved the recommendation of the Committee on Customs and Excise committee to compensate the families of the victims of Customs officials brutal attacks and murder of innocent citizens in Igangan, Igboora, Ayete, and Tapa in Ibarapa Area of Oyo State by men of the Nigeria Customs Services.
The lawmakers recommended that officers involved in the acts should be brought to book and punished accordingly to serve as a deterrent to others.
They advised that provision should be made for procurement of ballistic vehicles, bullet proof vests and helmets to Customs officials to confront “daredevil smugglers” at border stations.
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