Three feared dead as Customs battle smugglers in Ogun

Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

Three persons were feared dead while few others suffered some degrees of injury following a pandemonium that ensued in the rustic Ayetoro community in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun state when operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) battled to impound smuggled bags of rice from suspected smugglers.

Those feared dead and others with injuries were said to be the result of stray bullets from gunshots fired repeatedly by NCS operatives to scare the smugglers away who had mobilised hoodlums to the scene in bids to scuttle all efforts at confiscating the alleged smuggled rice.

A commercial motorcycle operator identified as Sola was struck in the leg by a projectile allegedly fired by the NCS operatives and was heard wailing over his bleeding leg as seen from a brief video clip depicting the pandemonium.

READ ALSO: Policemen have right to kill in self-defence says Ex-IGP, Balogun

It was learnt that the NCS operatives got a tip-off that smugglers had stock – pilled smuggled rice and other contraband items in Kikelomo area of Ayetoro and had stormed the place on Tuesday to recover the goods but the residents, it was learnt, clashed with the Operatives who hurriedly abandoned their mission and battled to beat a retreat lest they lose personnel to hoodlums as happened recently in Owode – Ipokia axis of the state.

The Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Ogun Command, Ahmed Oloyede, could not be reached for comment.