Pandemonium broke out in Ilashe Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State when some suspected smugglers reportedly attacked Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) officers at a warehouse.
Four of the customs men were injured.
The four officials of the NCS were said to have been hospitalised following the serious injuries they sustained in the clash while others were said to have fled the scene.
It was gathered that the incident occurred last Tuesday when some customs officials stormed the warehouse and reportedly broke into it while attempting to evacuate bags of rice suspected to have been smuggled into the country from Republic of Benin.
But the people of the area were said to have resisted them, which led to gun duel between them and the Customs officials, leaving four of the Customs men injured.
The affected officials were also said to have lost their guns to the clash while others ran for their lives with three rifles snatched from them.
It was further gathered that the missing guns, packed in a sack, were later dumped on the premises of the palace of a traditional ruler in the area, who later handed them over same to the customs.
The NSC Public Relations Officer in Ogun State, Abubakar Uthman, confirmed the incident.
According to him, 11 motorcycles and 250 bags of smuggled rice were impounded and three suspected smugglers were arrested.
The suspects, Uthman said had been handed over to police for investigation.
Meanwhile, Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has charged the NCS to curb smuggling and ensure that international borders in the state were effectively manned.
He gave the charge on Friday when the management team of customs led by its Comptroller-General, Hameed Ali paid him a courtesy visit.
He said this was necessary in order to raise adequate revenue for the country.
Speaking earlier, Ali informed the state governor about the importance the NCS attaches to the state.
He said, “Ogun State has the highest number of industries in Nigeria and we are working very hard to ensure that we increase our excise duties collection because right now we are only collecting excise duties from alcohol and tobacco industries.”
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