By YUSUF MOHAMMED
An official of the Nigerian Customs Service on Sunday allegedly shot a man dead along the Sagamu Interchange, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.
A video has gone viral on the internet showing a woman screaming at the top of her voice and accusing a Customs officer of killing a man, who is said to be a traveler, because of N5, 000.
The man who was shot was seen arguing with the customs officer. It is not yet clear why he was being questioned by the officer. An argument ensued and the victim was heard saying. “Shoot me!” a few seconds later, the man was shot dead.
The woman whose voice was very loud in the video, could be heard screaming “customs just killed someone because of N5, 000! We are coming from abroad! We aren’t carrying contraband!” Passersby could be seen beating up the custom officer who shot the man. Blood could be seen dripping from the upper part of his body.
But the Nigerians customs have issued a statement saying the deceased was hit by a stray bullet.
Joseph Attah, the customs’ spokesperson, said the passengers in the bus, suspected to be carrying second-hand clothing, attempted to disarm a Customs officer.
“The attention of Nigeria Customs Service has been drawn to a disturbing video going viral with conflicting narratives,” Mr Attah said in a statement.
“While it is painful and totally unnecessary to lose life in anti-smuggling operations, today at Shagamu interchange along Ijebu Ode, attempt to obstruct lawful performance of duty by passengers of a commercial bus (a white Toyota Hiace) suspected to be carrying bales of used clothing led to the death of a young man (Godwin) and serious injury of a Customs Officer, ASC1, Destiny Onebamho.
“Contrary to some narratives, the young man was not a passenger of the bus but a good citizen who always come to fetch water for Customs Patrol men anytime they return to the base.
“Preliminary finding indicate that it was during the skirmishes and struggle to disarm the officer that the riffle discharged and hit the friend of the Customs (Godwin) who lost his life.”
Mr Attah said the agency is already in touch with the deceased’s family.
“Sadly, it should be noted that while attention shifted to the dead and the wounded, the passengers who filmed with inciting commentaries boarded their vehicle and left, leaving the wrong impression that it was one of them that was killed,” he said.
“While the wounded officer is under intensive care at the hospital, the patrol team has been recalled to the office for further investigation.”