The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operation Unit (FOU), Zone A in Ibadan, has confirmed the death of three persons during a battle with rice smugglers yesterday, May 13, in Iseyin area of Oyo state.
In a statement today, May 14, the FOU Zone A spokesman, Theophilus Duniya, said that the customs officers who were on routine patrol intercepted two Nissan Pathfinder SUV vehicles fully loaded with smuggled foreign parboiled rice at Iseyin.
He said that the dare devil smugglers mobilized themselves with the help of some thugs on Thursday at about 3pm and attacked a Customs patrol, who were on lawful duty at Iseyin.
Duniya said that the mob attacked the officers with dangerous weapons which led to the infliction of serious injuries on two officers.
“They attempted to abduct one of the officers that was brutally attacked; who sustained deep cuts on his head and other parts of his body.
“The assailants had taken the injured officer with his rifle before his team members who acted in self defence, shot at the suspected abductors leading to the death of three of them before he was rescued and taken for immediate medical attention.
“The officers were able to successfully evacuate the intercepted smuggled rice, while the injured officers are currently receiving treatment.”
Duniya said that the Acting Controller of the Unit, DC Usman Yahaya, was sadden about the avoidable incident and urged community leaders and parents to call their wards and children to order.
Duniya said that the acting controller lamented the criminality of obstructing and attacking officers on lawful duty, describing it as a venture that yields no good for all including the Service.
“We appeal for compliance to extant rules and assures of the resolve of our men to remain resolute in discharging their duties in the best interest of Nigerians.”