Victim of Customs’ raid on Bodija market is on oxygen, says Senator

Doctors are battling to save the life of one of the traders whose shops in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, were raided by Customs personnel earlier in the month, the Senator representing Oyo South District, Dr. Kola Balogun, has said.

Senator Balogun, who spoke in an interview monitored on Fresh F.M, a privately-owned radio station, on Saturday, disclosed that the female trader had been placed on oxygen in an undisclosed hospital.

The senator, who last week presented a petition written by the traders on the floor of the Senate, described the raid as criminal and unlawful, hinting that the appropriate Senate Committee hearing the petition might invite the traders and the Custom this week.

He disclosed that the Customs Act empowers Custom officials to go after suspected contraband within 40 kilometers radius to the borders, adding that Bodija, where the raid was carried out, is more than 200 kilometers to the Seme border.

“As we speak, I am told that one of the victims is on oxygen. Some others are in the hospital. We can’t carry on like this.

“The traders said customs men stole their money, how will the Customs officials convince Nigerians that they did no steal the traders’ money? They took away vegetable oil. Is that also contraband? They took gaari, is that contraband as well?

“The raid could be a function of corruption. Maybe the Customs officials were expecting something that did not happen. There are a lot of stories are out there. I will continue to ensure that justice is done wherever there is a situation like this,” he said.

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