One Kill, several injure as Customs, Smugglers Clash in Ogun - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

One Kill, several injure as Customs, Smugglers Clash in Ogun

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A senior secondary school  boy, Rilwan Bello on Friday met his untimely death in Owode- Idiroko area of Ogun State following a clash between the  operstives of Custom Service and suspected smuggler.

Salient Times gathered that Bello who is an. SS one student of Area Community High School, Owode Yewa  was hit by stray bullets, allegedly, fired by the Operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) when they raided locked - up shops in the area in search of suspected smuggled rice and other contraband goods.

Our Correspondent gathered that the Joint Patrol Team of the Operatives were said to have stormed the Idiroko area in the morning and broke into many shops, sending unsuspecting traders scampering for safety even as the Operatives carried away many bags of rice, sugar among others.

It was learnt that while  the raid lasted, the Operatives also shot sporadically into the air, apparently to ward off any counter - attack or violent resistance from the people and that it was one of the stray bullets from the Operatives that struck the boy on the head.

Many people, including the traders, were also said to have sustained injuries during an ensuing stampede triggered by the torrential gunshots being fired into the air by the NCS Operatives.

As the confusion and tension heightened with some youths threatening violence, soldiers and Policemen also hurried to the scene to help restore normalcy to the troubled Owode - Idiroko area, which a witness said, initially overwhelmed the NCS Operatives.

A witness said that it was during the melee that Rilwan, a 15 year old SS One student of Area Community High School, Owode, dropped to the ground and died.

"This boy was killed this morning at Owode Idiroko by custom men. The boy's name is Rilwan, a student at the Area community high school Owode.

"He is 15 years old boy. The customs men, broke into shops, parked away bags of sugar and rice. They were shooting into the the air to scare away reprisal attacks and in the process, their stray bullet hit the boy on the head," the source said.

But reacting, Abdullahi Maiwada. the Public Relations Officer, for Customs Area Controller, Ogun I Command, said the incident involved the Officers and Men of NCS Ogun I Command and Some suspected cultists, popularly known as _'Eiye boys,' alleging that the slain boy was a cultist.

Maiwada added that the Command had, however, launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident, pledging to make the outcome of the investigation available.

He said: "At about 0830hours of  Friday, some group of miscreants, suspected to be cultists (popularly known as _'eye boys'_ ) violently confronted Officers of NCS Ogun I  Command Anti-smuggling Patrol Team with assorted weapons at Owode (Yewa South LGA of Ogun State). 

"The Team came across such hostility while  peacefully performing their lawful duty with vivid arrest of smuggled 47 bags of sugar, 13 bags of rice (50 kg each) and three cartons of sugar stocked at a residence located along Owode-Idiroko Road. 

"In the melee that ensued, information available revealed that one among the suspected cultists died, while Officers including the team leader sustain various degree of injuries. 

"The name of the deceased who is popularly know among the 'area boys' is Owoeba. Other popular members of the notorious gang at large are Angaba, Wudor, Solomon (a.k.a K.Solo). 

"We wish to use this opportunity to acknowledge the timely intervention of Nigerian Army 192 Battalion Owode, Operatives of National Border Drill, Nigeria Police Force Owode. 

"In the same vein, we wish to recognize the  patriotic Owode Youths who shunned the cultists and assisted the operatives Nigeria Customs Service to evacuate the offensive goods.

"Their action is worthy of emulation as the NCS is always out to perform their duty for the common good of the entire nation."