Suspected smugglers, on Friday evening, attacked officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Ogun Command 1, while on duty leaving one critically injured.
In a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer, Ogun Command 1, Abdullahi Maiwada, the officers on a tip-off went on patrol to Ilashe village in Ipokia Local Government Area of the state and intercepted 35 bags of smuggled parboiled rice of 50kg each.
The bags of rice, according to Maiwada, were brought in on a convoy of motorcycle, also known as Okada.
The smugglers, it was reported mobilised themselves in large numbers and thereafter launched an attack on officers who are performing their lawful duties, with various weapons.
One of the officers, identified as Chidi Johnson, an Assistant Superintendent, was mercilessly macheted with deep cuts all over his body.
The officer was taken to a health faculty for treatment.
Maiwada noted that the smugglers passed through illegal routes to the border to perpetuate the act of economic sabotage.
He added that five persons have been arrested in connection with the incident and were said to be undergoing interrogation.
The statement reads, “At about 1930hours on Friday 8th May 2020, Officers and Men of Nigeria Customs Service Ogun I Command went on information patrol to Ilashe village in Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State.
“During operation, they Intercepted thirty-five (35) bags of smuggled parboiled rice of 50kg each ferried by a convoy of motorcyclists (popularly known as okada).
“On their way out of the area, the diehard smugglers mobilised themselves in an overwhelming number, launching a vicious attack with assorted weapons on Officers performing their lawful duties.
“In an effort to repel the attack and avoid bloodshed, one officer of the Customs, Assistant Superintendent Chidi Johnson was brutally macheted, sustaining deep cuts in various parts of his body.”
The Customs PRO frowned at the flagrant disobedience of the lockdown order in the state by the smugglers, saying their actions could jeopardized the health and economic well being of other Nigerians.
He said “We find it unfortunate and strange, that the daredevil smugglers who have no regards for laws of the land or the disease ravaging the global community resorted to crossing the border through illegal routes to perpetrate such nefarious activities in total disregard of the health and economic well being of Nigerians.
“Principally, we seize this opportunity to enjoin the faceless unpatriotic smuggling cartels to stop using uninformed youths as cannon fodders in their nefarious trade.
“We challenge them to bring their own biological children to attack personnel of the Service and have a taste of the consequences of such act.”
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