The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has revealed that smugglers attacked and injured three of its operatives at Igbo Ora area of Ibarapa Local Government, Oyo State on Friday.
The service added that a soldier was also injured during the encounter.
This was confirmed in a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer, Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, Theophilus Duniya on behalf of the Acting Controller of the Unit, Mr. Usman Yahaya.
According to him, the attack took place at about 8:00 p.m. and investigation has commenced towards arresting and prosecuting the attackers.
“The injured NCS officers, who are operatives of Zone A, Federal Operations Unit, sighted eight trucks carrying smuggled foreign parboiled rice.
“The drivers and armed passengers of the trucks quickly launched an attack on the officers.
“One of the attackers was shot and disarmed while the others retreated with their smuggled wares,” he said.
The statement noted that the injured NCS officers and the soldier were receiving treatment and that the NCS will not be discouraged in its efforts at curbing smuggling activities.
“The unit will never relent or be intimidated by this unwarranted attacks by criminal elements unlawfully bearing arms and unleashing same on officers on legitimate duties,” he declared.
Meanwhile, the Oyo State government has accused operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service of carrying out the attack on Ibarapa community on Friday.
The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa made the observation in a statement on Saturday after a visit by the government team to the affected communities.
It will be recalled as earlier reported by Naija News that suspected gunmen who reportedly wore ‘Customs Uniform’ on Friday night attacked Igangan in Ibarapa North local government and Ibarapa Central local government areas in Oyo State.
It was gathered that the gunmen stormed the ancient town around 8.pm and left after shooting sporadically.
No fewer than three people were reportedly killed while the shooting lasted, including an Amotekun commandant in Ibarapa Central LGA.
The gunmen reportedly attacked Igangan in Ibarapa North LGA killing two people, while an Amotekun commandant was killed in Igboora in Ibarapa Central LGA.
But making clarification on the ugly incident, the Oyo Governor’s media aide said the community leaders identified those that attacked them as Customs Officers, not unknown gunmen as widely reported.
He added that the community leaders made the revelation during a fact-finding meeting between a team of the state government and political/traditional leaders of the affected communities on Saturday.
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