Sunday, May 10, 2020 5:21 pm
Five suspects have been arrested over attack on officers of Ogun Customs Command by hoodlums suspected to be rice smugglers at Ilashe village, Ipokia Local Government Area of the State on Friday.
The Command, in a statement issued in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, by its spokesperson, Maiwada Abdullah, said the officers were attacked after intercepting bags smuggled rice and were about to leave the area.
He said, “At about 1930hours 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 the 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.
“In an effort to repel 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 activities in total disregard of the health and economic well being of Nigerians.
“Principally, we seize this opportunity to enjoin 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.”