Tears as Customs allegedly kill one in Ogun - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

Tears as Customs allegedly kill one in Ogun

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By Aremu Sosanya

Pandemonium broke out in Osu town, in Obafemi Owode local government area of Ogun State on Wednesday morning when the Federal Operation Unit, zone A of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS allegedly killed a middle aged man, Juwon Mumuni.
The deceased, Juwon

According to information, the men of the FOU unit of the NCS was on a hot chase of some suspected smugglers when their vehicle veered off the road and hit Juwon, 35, a lotto operator, thereby killing him instantly.
Deceased Wife

It was also gathered that immediately the incident happened, the Customs men abandoned the victim and their vehicle.
The vehicle that allegedly hit Juwon

Our source added that the residents of the town had to resist attempt by the Customs men from fleeing the place, which made them called for reinforcement from the other security agencies including armed forces who facilitated their escape.

Speaking to Our Correspondent, Senior brother to the deceased, Muftau Mumuni, lamented that his younger brother was just coming from the Bank where he had gone to lodge money collected from the previous day sale when he was hit by the customs men who were on a hot chase of the smugglers.

"If you see the way these people were driving recklessly in the town, you will fear for your dear life, they roughly killed my brother who was looking for his daily bread.

What pained us was that immediately the ugly incident happened, they left him to die without trying to save his dear life, he was left to suffer to death, it was the youths in the town who rallied round us and drove him to the Federal Medical Center in Abeokuta where my brother was certified as brought in dead".

"He was a young chap of about 35 years of age, he had two children with a very young wife and an aged mother. 

This killing by Customs is just too much, the perpetrators of the heinous act must be brought to book, because my brother is not a criminal, and why they had to kill him in this way is of serious concern to us".

He called for proper investigation into the killing.

Also speaking a legal practitioner, Ganiyu Kusanwo condemned the killing, calling on government to check the excesses of the Customs men who killed innocent Nigerians on the pretext of carrying out their legal duties.

He lamented that the killing of Mumuni Juwon by the NCS was uncalled-for as he was sure that the Officers ought to exercise some restrains when they got to the town to avoid unwarranted death.

"Just imagine, the young man was killed in his prime, he had only two kids and a young wife with an aged mother, who will now care for those he left behind, I think government need to caution these people seriously.

"If you give a man a mile, I can assure you that he will go extra mile, the rate of the evil been perpetrated by these people are just too much, but with this, we will ensure that justice is done".

When Our Correspondent contacted the Spokesperson of the Federal Operation Unit of the NCS, Peter Duniyan, he promised to react when he had got the details of the incident.

Meanwhile, Ogun State House of Assembly has again sought the immediate intervention of the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun alongside members of the National Assembly from the State on the need to address the incessant killings of innocent residents of the border towns in the State by officers and men of the Nigeria Customs Service.

The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo made the call, while responding to the presentations of the State lawmakers from Ogun West Senatorial District, including Honourables Adegoke Adeyanju representing Yewa North I, Bolanle Ajayi, Yewa South, Wahab Haruna, Yewa North II, Lamidi Musefiu, Ado-Odo/Ota II and Sikiratu Ajibola Ipokia/Idiroko during a plenary held at the Assembly Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta. 

Oluomo, noted that the killing of innocent people by the Customs men had become a major issue that required the immediate interventions of political leaders  in the State and at national level, cautioning that the State borders should not be turned to Bakassi, hence the need for a roundtable discussion by all stakeholders to resolve the issue as the State could not afford to be in the news for the wrong reasons. 

According to him, there was need for the men of the Customs to always adhere to the standard rules of engagements, so as to avoid the killing of innocent people in the State. 

Earlier, in their presentations, the lawmakers lamented the invasion of communities and quarters in their constituencies by the men of customs, who often engaged in killing of people in the guise of looking for smuggled products, especially rice. 

They said that last December, 22nd and 26th, the Customs men allegedly killed innocent people in Ayetoro and Oke-Ola in Ilaro, saying such invasions and killings had equally taken place at Ado-Odo township, Ejila-Awori, Joga, Oja-Odan and Ipokia-Idiroko amongst others. 

In a related development, Youth under the auspices of the State chapter of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYNC) led by its Chairman, Comrade Abdul-Jabar Ayelagbe, led a group of protesting youth against killings of innocent people by the men and officers of the Nigeria customs and paid a solidarity visit to the Assembly, expressing their grievances on the unlawful killing of law-abiding members of the border towns in Yewa Axis of the State, with a formal presentation of their resolution on the act they described as unacceptable and inhumane to Speaker Olakunle Oluomo. 

Ayelagbe noted that it had become a daily occurrence in the border communities including Owode, Ilaro, Ayetoro, Ipokia/ Idiroko and its axis for men of the Nigeria Customs Services to kill and injure innocent citizens unlawfully under the guise of checkmating the activities of smugglers, with a renewed appeal to the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun to engage necessary stakeholders including the Federal Government to come to the aid of residents of the area.

Acknowledging the efforts of the State Assembly at identifying with the pains of the youth, the Chairman assured that the youth would continue to be law-abiding and peaceful in their respective conducts in the border communities but government should intervene as a matter of urgency.

Responding, the Speaker, who identified with the youth, stated that the Assembly had earlier passed resolutions calling for a stakeholders' meeting with all concerned individuals and groups to put an end to customs' incessant killing; adding that it would evolve more strategies to call the attention of the Federal Government through the representatives from the State in the two chambers of the National Assembly with an assurance that their communication would be transmitted to the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun for necessary actions.

Meanwhile, in continuation of the on-going consideration of the State Audit Reports on Ministries, Department and Agencies, the Speaker has re-invited a former Managing Director of the State Property and Investment Company (OPIC), Barr. Jide Odusolu to appear before the House Committee on Public Account and Anti-Corruption led by Hon. Musefiu Lamidi on the activities of OPIC under his leadership on the 21st January, 2021 at 12 noon.