Ogun smugglers defy FG order on border closure insist smuggling is unstoppable occupation - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

Ogun smugglers defy FG order on border closure insist smuggling is unstoppable occupation

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Amidst widely reported cases of incessant attacks and counter attacks between smugglers and men of the Nigeria Customs in most border towns and villages in Ogun State, concerned analysts are beginning to ponder over the negative effects of this unhealthy battle of wits on the natural profile of the Gateway State.

 While some of the field encounters had resulted in exchange of gunshots leading to monumental causalities among them including innocent citizens, smugglers in Yewa area of the state now go hay-wire with combatant maiming and extra-judicial killing of innocent citizens, who they may have suspected to be operating as paid informants of the Nigeria Customs. 

Often times, their allegations are so painted red to rope their suspects on baseless account of releasing sensitive information that usually lead to serial interception of their illicit business activities by the security  operatives.
In most towns and villages across the border region in the state, most self engaged young men who are genuinely practising their private arts and trades including farming, now live in fear of being picked up illegally by these notorious smugglers with threat of jungle justice.

 And not helping matters, men of the Nigeria Customs sometimes in company of special squad of the Nigeria Army often raid public markets and break into shops and stores suspected to be warehouses of such smuggled goods, especially rice and other related assorted items even at day time. 

Suffice it to note that how these smuggled goods usually make their way into these border towns and villages in safety, remains unanswered question. 

Similarly, why the notorious smugglers have been carrying out their acts of jungle justice against innocent citizens under the unfounded allegations of being paid informants of the Nigeria Customs without effective interception by the respective authorities of government especially the Nigeria Police, remains a wild mirage in the circumstance. After all, the Nigeria Customs officials as well as other Security Agencies personnels are regularly posted and functionally stationed at the border points to keep their eagle eyes on the nation’s porous borders, for effective control of smuggling activities and down to earth prevention of all related  heinous crimes, particularly of both national and international dimension.

In Ayetoro, a prominent border town in Yewa area of Ogun State, a court case has been instituted by Mr. Jamiu Adekunle, a victim of the notorious smugglers jungle justice before the Magistrate Court in the Ayetoro Judicial Division under the worship of Magistrate David Sunday Ogongo.

 The criminal charge No MAY/05/c.2019 dated 6th December 2019 has been filed at the instance of the State vide Police prosecution against  the defendants. Mr. Kamorudeen Olaifa a.k.a Kooko, Mr. Sunday Ileyemi a.k.a Labule, Mr. Tajudeen Adeyemi a.k.a Denge, Mr. Abiodun Akindele a.k.a Asoore, Mr. Saburi Olaifa a.k.a Ebe, Mr. Kolawole Ajadi a.k.a Dense and Mr. Rasheed Akinyele a.k.a CFA.

In the statement of claim as contained in the charge sheet, the victim Mr. Jamiu  Adekunle being the complainant has informed the court that the defendants are very influential and well connected smugglers who earn their livelihood from smuggling of rice, cars and other assorted goods, thereby arrogating notoriety to their relevance in the smuggling business.

 Mr. Jamiu Adekunle, a commercial motorcyclist and telephone handsets and accessories trader has informed the court that at around 1:00pm on Sunday 24th November, 2019, he was accosted and whisked away in a manner of abduction by two of the defendants on a motorcycle. 

He stated that he was taken to a place which was later discovered to be their junta base, and was confronted with wild allegations that he has been operating as a paid informant of the Nigeria Customs in the area. 

He said he was shocked at the gravity of the allegations, though was prompt at denying it. But before he knew it, Mr. Adekunle stated that the leader of the gang of notorious smugglers, Mr. Kamorudeen Olaifa a.k.a Kooko, who always behaves untouchable and usually rakes above the board of the strata of the community, had instructed his lieutenants to strip him (Mr. Adekunle) naked for their routine brutal torture. And the instruction was carried out to the letter such that instantly, he was stripped naked, beaten up serially and battered furiously, tortured brutally, jerked up and down wickedly, kept and locked up inside the boot of a moving car that was randomly driven around on the open ground to get him suffocated, and made to stretch head-down to the ground with legs on the body of the car, as they were raining lashes of rod and cane over his body till he became unconscious.

Mr. Jamiu Adekunle, the complainant also stated that at the point of recovering from coma, he could see his sister (name withheld) appealing profusely for his release even as the innocent woman was unfortunately manhandled and subsequently chased away. 

Again, he informed the court that as a result, most of the onlookers at the scene who sympathized with him could not intervene for fear of being marked for molestation. 

He alleged further that all the while, their boss Mr. Kamorudeen Olaifa a.k.a Kooko has assigned some of his lieutenants to record the scene for eventual posting on the internet, towards exposing him in nudity with dire blasphemy before the public. He said that the posts were released to the internet flying lavishly on various platforms with negative effects, thereby generating assault and shame against him and the whole of the area. 

He explained that it was among the people that caught the posts on their platform who shared the clips with him to serve as exhibits in court. 

According to Mr. Adekunle, he was reluctantly released at about 6:00pm that day, but almost in a lifeless state with sustained swollen lips, blood shot eyes, dysfunctioned eardrum, dislodged scrotum and multiple bruises all over his body, thereby prompting his immediate admission to the hospital for essential medical attention.

In a brief chat with a community leader who preferred anonymity, the decision by the complainant to take the matter to court was a right step in a right direction.

 He expressed confidence in the Judiciary but would not like to make further comments for fear of subjudice, since the matter was already in court. 

He however expressed fear, that the defendants are such notorious smugglers who are so powerful to be under-rated at all. Moreso, according to the community leader who described himself as a concerned citizen, the defendants have been boasting that they would see to the end of the matter without a skin pain, as they hold the grip of power from above.

Also a retired civil servant in the area who would not want her name to be mentioned, remarked that the concerted efforts of the Federal Government on border closure is in the best interest of the nation. She insisted that the policy should be supported by all Nigerians rather than being antagonized, and therefore urged the people of the area, as well as other border communities across the country to desist from subjecting the policy to jeopardy especially for selfish reasons.