By Anthony Nwachukwu
Three suspected smugglers were killed Thursday at Iseyin, Oyo State, as a patrol team of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) foiled their bid to abduct an injured agent and retrieve intercepted smuggled items.
The patrol team, which had intercepted two Nissan Pathfinder SUV vehicles fully loaded with smuggled foreign parboiled rice, was said to have been attacked by the smugglers, who mobilised some thugs for a counter-attack.
According to a statement by the unit’s Public Relations Officer, Theophilus Duniya, the mob attacked the officers with dangerous weapons and seriously injured two of them. They had further abducted the more injured of the two, alongside his rifle, before his team repelled them.
Three of the suspected abductors died in the process while the injured officer was rescued and taken for immediate medical attention. The officers also successfully evacuated the intercepted rice.
Sad at the recurring attacks on customs men on lawful duty, the Ag Controller, DC Usman Yahaya, regretted the avoidable incident and urged community leaders and parents to call their wards and youths to order.
According to him, criminal obstruction and attack on officers on lawful duty yield no good for anyone. Therefore, he appealed for compliance to extant rules, while restating his men’s resolve to continue discharging their duties in the best interest of the country.