The men of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have reported clashed with suspected smugglers in Kobape area of Ogun state on Saturday, causing serious uproar and tension in the area.
According to Daily Post Nigeria, the customs officers were following suspected smugglers who were said to have been trafficking foreign parboiled rice into the state.
Daily Post reported that the suspected smugglers stopped at Kobape junction, along the Abeokuta- Sagamu highway to resist the customs officer.
Some of the suspected smugglers were attacking the customs officers by throwing objects at them from a distant place while some others were holding cutlasses. In a bid to bring them under control, the customs officers fired gunshots at them. The residents of the community and commuters scampered away in apprehension.
Travellers on the highway at the time of the clash were trapped as they ran into Kobape community. Many a driver left their vehicles on the highway and took to their heels for dear lives.
Information revealed that the residents of Egba community were in complete anxiety for about thirty minutes, running helter skelter over the sudden outbreak of gunfight that disturbed the tranquility of the community.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Federal Operating Unit (FOU) zone A, Theophilus Duniya, disclosed to journalists on Saturday that the customs officers were attacked with no provocation.
Theophilus said twelve different vehicles that were transporting parboiled foreign rice to the government’ s warehouse were intercepted by the patrol team before the suspected smugglers with the aid of their sympathizers attacked the customs officer with dangerous weapons.
He maintained further that two of the suspected smugglers lost their lives during the gunfight with the customs officer while the other one suspect was arrested.
He revealed that the customs officer were able to impound four out of the twelve vehicles of the smugglers that were laden with foreign parboiled rice, noting that the arrested suspects and the confiscated parboiled rice laden vehicles have been taken to the headquarters of the operatives in Ikeja.
The A. G controller of the unit, Hussein K. Ejibunu ordered that the operatives embarked on covert thorough investigation to nab fleeing suspects.
Two customs officers that were injured during the clash were said to have been taken to the hospital for proper medical treatment.