By Ajibola Abayomi,
Chidi Johnson, an officer with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and other officers came under serious attack from smugglers on Friday after intercepting 35 bags of smuggled foreign rice in Ogun State.
However, five suspects had been arrested in connection with the incident.
Abdullahi Maiwada, the spokesman of the NCS, Ogun State Command 1 revealed this through a statement to the media.
He narratted the ordeal thus:
“At about 1930 hours 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.”
The PRO added that in an effort to repell the attack and avoid blood shed, one officer of the Customs, Assistant Superintendent Chidi Johnson was brutally matcheted, sustaining deep cuts in various parts of his body.
“The seriously wounded officer was immediately rushed to the hospital for medical attention, and luckily he is responding to treatment (pictures attached).
“To this end, five suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident and are currently undergoing interrogation.
“It is instructive to note that Friday (08/05/2020) was a date set aside for total lockdown in Ogun state due to the surge of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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 activites in total disregard of the health and economic well being of Nigerians.”
Maiwada enjoined 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” he said.