Owode killings: Yewa monarchs demand justice from FG

THE Yewa Traditional Council has demanded justice from the federal government over alleged killings of five persons by operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) at Owode-Yewa in Yewa South Local Government, sometimes last month.

They described the activities of the NCS operatives in the axis as unbecoming and called for thorough investigation into the killings of these innocent Nigerians.

Addressing news conference on Monday, on behalf of other traditional rulers, the Olu of Ilaro and Paramount ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, at the Council hall in Ilaro, said that the monarchs are demanding compensation for the families of those who lost their loved ones.

Olugbenle noted that the operatives of NCS on the guise of chasing smugglers had been killing, harassing and maiming his subjects and therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari, the acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu and other security agencies to look into the issue.

The monarch faulted the claim by the Public Relations of the NCS, Abdullahi Maiwada, that only one person was killed on January 24, when it raided some houses and shops believed to be housing smuggled items.

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“There are evidences that five persons were killed by men of the Nigeria Customs Service on Monday 21st, January. Two of the victims have been buried by their families while post -mortem was carried out on three others.

“I don’t know when a bag of rice becomes a valuable item than the life of any human being. They should not take laws into their hands. They should seal up any property housing contraband goods rather than raiding shops which could lead clash. The government has the power to confiscate anything.

“The question is -how did contraband goods get to town considering the number of checkpoints along the border axis?. We are not at war with the NCS. We demand justice and wants the perpetrators of Owode killings to be brought to book.

“We are not only speaking the minds of the Yewa people but the minds of Nigerians. The FG and the NCS should improve on surveillance of the border lines areas. They should devise means to block all illegal routes being used by the smugglers rather than exposing their inefficiency by killing innocent Nigerians at towns and communities outside the borderline communities in the name of raiding for smuggled items,” the monarch added.

The paramount ruler said that the Council would toe a line of justice by approaching the court to seek redress on the ugly incident.

Speaking in the same vein, the Eselu of Iselu, Oba Akintunde Akinyemi, urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences, to investigate individual accounts of the NCS operatives manning over 45 checkpoints from Idi -Iroko to Sango.

He accused some NCS operatives of collecting bribe from the smugglers for easy transportation of smuggled items from Idi -Iroko to other parts of the state.

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