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Customs deny shooting smuggler in Lagos

The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit; Zone A Ikeja, Lagos has denied an online report alleging its men of shooting a smuggler in the Abule-Egba Area of the State on Wednesday.

Some online report had alleged that some Customs officials had pursued and shot at a smuggler in the area in the early hours of Wednesday.

Contrary to the report, the FOU has denied the shooting saying instead its own officials were attacked and injured by the smuggler and some mob in the area.

The Controller of the Zone, Comptroller Mohammed Uba said the report is misleading as the story does not in any way paint the correct picture of what had transpired.

Uba in a press statement issued on Wednesday through the Zone’s Spokesperson, Jerry Attah said, ” Our attention has been drawn to reports by some online media to the effect that some Officers of FOU Zone A, shot one unknown smuggler whose bus was conveying smuggled rice at

“The report is the figment of the reporter’s imagination, which is capable of misleading the general public hence the need to state the true facts.”

Narrating what had transpired between the customs officials and the smuggler, the Controller said, ” On January 17th, 2018 at about 5:30 am, Operatives of the Federal Operations Unit acting on a tip-off traced one LT Bus Loaded with unspecified bags of smuggled foreign parboiled rice from Sango Area and eventually stopped it at Abule Egba

Read Also: Customs storm Lagos house, seize 67 vehicles, other items valued over N1.5 billion

“Before he was finally halted at Abule Egba, the driver started shouting and making inciting comments that attracted mob action against the officers with different dangerous weapons such as broken bottles, stones and cutlasses. Obviously, he had driven to where he could get his associates to help attack the Customs Officers.

“Given the support of the mob, he resisted lawful arrest and the other armed operatives fired shots in the air to disperse the raging mob but to no avail. As a responsible organization, the Officers retracted back to avoid any casualty. We appreciate and thank God that no life was lost as at the time of the confrontation even though two of our Officers sustained injuries.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the fact that a smuggler has evaded scrutiny either by following unapproved route or compromising any Officer does not guarantee that the smuggled item will not be seized anywhere it is found by patrol officers whose duty is to ensure compliance,” he maintained.

Uba while lamenting the misleading report urged media practitioners to verify their facts before rushing to the press.

Joy Anyim

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