The Ogun Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it lost one of its officers while another sustained serious injury when suspected smugglers attacked their patrol vehicle.
Public Relations Officer of the Command, Abdulahi Maiwada, said in a statement on Monday that the incident occurred on Sunday at Asero Road, Abeokuta while the officers were on routine patrol.
According to him, the officers had intercepted eight reconstructed vehicles fully loaded with smuggled rice and kept in a hideout at the Asero area of Abeokuta, but in an attempt to lawfully secure the said items, the smugglers and their accomplice allegedly ambushed the officers “in a deadly manner”.
“Unfortunately during the encounter, one of the officers, a Customs Assistant I, Hamisu Sani sustained grievous injuries and paid the supreme price in active Service.
“He has since been buried according Islamic rites. Also, an Inspector of Customs, Tijani John Michel, sustained serious machete cut but is responding to treatment in the hospital,” the Customs spokesman said.
Maiwada said two suspects have been arrested by the police while the eight vehicles loaded with smuggled rice were impounded and taken to the Customs office in Abeokuta for further investigation.
“While we commend the patriotic role of our sister agencies and law-abiding citizens, we wish to categorically state that we will deploy all necessary apparatus to ensure that the perpetrators of this devilish act are brought to book to face the full wrath of the law.
“Finally, the re-occurrence of such form of hostilities and intimidation by smugglers and their accomplice on our officers and men will never distract us from vigorously discharging our statutory functions,” Maiwada added.