The Ogun State Government has asked the authorities of the Nigeria Customs Service to immediately commence investigations into the alleged killing of suspected smugglers at Kobape along Abeokuta-Sagamu expressway in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of the State.
Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Taiwo Adeoluwa who in a Statement called for investigation into the matter, asked the Customs authorities to caution its officers in the State to embrace decorum and civility while carrying out their operations so as to avoid acts capable of breaching public peace, which could paint Government in bad light.
It was reported that some officers of the Service pursued a vehicle suspected to be laden with smuggled rice along the expressway, shot and killed the driver of the vehicle and other occupant instantly. On seeing the consequence of their action, and in apparent fear of possible reprisal by sympathisers, they immediately abandoned the pursuit and fled the scene.
While recalling the recent overnight raid of some shops stock with rice in Sango by Customs Officers, the State Scribe said the public outcry and protest that greeted the raid would have been prevented if the men had been diligent and patriotic in the discharge of their duty.
“We maintain that this bravado use of power hundreds of kilometres away from the international borders by Customs Officers cannot be justified by any logic. We are of the belief that if these officers had demonstrated this level of patriotic zeal in the discharge of their duties at the border posts and several custom checking points located along the roads leading from the borders, the public would have been saved these agonies and loss of lives,” SSG said.
Meanwhile, the Statement urged residents of the State to remain calm and go about their lawful activities, assuring that Government would not relent at engaging all stakeholders to prevent a re-occurrence.