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Anti-Smuggling Fight Turns Bloody As Customs Shot Suspect Dead

Palpable tension has engulfed Owode, a border community along Idiroko-Ota road, Ogun state, following the killing of a man suspected to be a smuggler by a customs officer, early Monday morning.

Nigerian Current gathered that the deceased was shot dead at about 2.00am, during a “struggle” with armed customs officers on routine patrol who accosted him at Adisba in Owode-Yewa local government area.

Spokesman of the Ogun 1 Customs Area Command, Abdullahi Maiwada, who confirmed the incidence, said the deceased was accosted in a vehicle conveying prohibited items suspected to have been smuggled into Nigeria.

According to him, “at the initial stage, the suspected smuggler conveying the aforementioned items took to his heels and later mobilized his compatriots for a mob action against lawful officers”.

He said in the process, “the suspected smuggler and owner of the smuggled items engaged an armed officer in physical battle in a bid to disarm him. In the ensuing struggle, the officer appropriately exercised his superior power in self defense leading to the death of the yet to be identified smuggler”.

Checks by our correspondent however indicated that the suspect was shot dead while fleeing from arrest with his goods, leading to an enraged intervention by his colleagues and local sympathizers.

According to an eye witness who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity, “the brutal killing of the man was what led to the face-off…and now the people have vowed to retaliate”.

We gathered that already, tension has risen in the area with some youths mobilizing their colleagues to block the international route in protest while calling for justice over the death of one of their own.

As at the time of filling this report, the diseased have been deposited in an undisclosed mortuary, just as the customs image maker said the exhibit has been “secured in Government Warehouse pending further investigation”.

He advised the general public to be law abiding and avoid any confrontation that may lead to such avoidable incidents. “Furthermore, it is emphatically clear that the rules of engagement specifically permit proper officer to defend himself when his live is evidently in danger”, he added.

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