The Nigeria Customs Service has reacted to the report claiming that customs officers conveying smuggled car into the country allegedly killed three students of Ojumo Community High School, Ihunbo, Ipokia Local Government.
The Ogun State chapter of the service in a statement noted that the command is working on taking care of the injured victims and to cushion the effect of this unintentional tragedy.
There had been reports that three students were allegedly killed, while market women were injured when Customs officers were conveying a smuggled vehicle they said was smuggled into the country.
The incident was condemned by the Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun and the governorship candidate of the Allied People’s Movement, Adekunle Akinlade, who called for an investigation into the incident.
The NCS Public Relations Officer in Ogun Area 1 Command, Abdullahi Maiwada on Tuesday, in a statement said “registers its deep heartfelt condolences to the family, school and friends of this young and promising child who lost his life in this unfortunate circumstances,” adding that “We strongly commiserate with you in this trying moment and it is our prayer that God will give you the fortitude to bear this irreparable lost.”
Narrating the incident, Maiwada said, “On Monday, 07th October, 2019 at about 1330Hours, Officers of Nigeria Customs Service Ogun Command on routine patrol arrested a vehicle (Mercedes Benz ML) suspected to have been smuggled into Nigeria. In the process of conveying the said vehicle driven by an Officer of the Service fully escorted by official patrol vehicle, an okada man conveying a passenger crossed their path.”
“In a swift response by the driver to avoid collusion with the said okada rider, he lost control and rammed into some group of people coincidently on a market day of Ihunbo Community. Unfortunately one of the victims a twenty years old student of Ojumo Community Secondary School by name Opeyemi Odusinan instantly died and three people sustained various degrees of injuries.”
He noted that at the time the command released the statement about the incident, two of the injured have been discharged with only one person identified as Sunday Adeniyi, receiving treatment at General Hospital, Idiroko.
Maiwada spoke further that “it is however important to condemn some mischief makers who hijacked the situation and attacked Customs vehicles within sight in a community known for upholding peace and rule of law.”
Maiwada noted that after the attack on the customs officers, normalcy has been returned with the intervention of Police, Military personnel and other sister security agencies.
“Finally, we wish to reiterate our sincere sympathy as this is purely an accident and not the narrative of stray bullets or pursue as insinuated by some citizen journalists and a section of the traditional media,” Maiwada stated.