The Controller, Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Mr. Mohammed Uba has given a clearer picture of what transpired between some officials of the Anti-Smuggling Team of the Command and driver of a Volkswagen LT Bus, saying contrary to some media reports, Customs did not shot and killed any bus driver in Lagos on Wednesday, January 17, 2018.
In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon and signed by the Command’s PRO, Mr. Jerry Attah, Uba said “The attention of the Controller Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, has been drawn to reports by some online media to the effect that some Officers of FOU Zone A, shot one unknown smuggler whose bus was conveying smuggled rice at Abule Egba Area of Lagos State”.
“The report is the figment of the reporter’s imagination, which is capable of misleading the general public hence the need to state the true facts as follow:
- On the 17TH of January 2018 (today), at about 0530hrs, Operatives of the Federal Operations Unit acting on a tip-off traced one LT Bus Loaded with unspecified bags of smuggled foreign parboiled rice from Sango Area and eventually stopped it at Abule Egba
- Before he was finally halted at Abule Egba, the driver started shouting and making inciting comments that attracted mob action against the officers with different dangerous weapons such as broken bottles, stones and cutlasses. Obviously, he had driven to where he could get his associates to help attack the Customs Officers.
- Given support of the mob, he resisted lawful arrest and the other armed operatives fired shots in the air to disperse the raging mob but to no avail. As a responsible organization, the Officers retracted back to avoid any casualty. We appreciate and thank God that no life was lost as at the time of the confrontation even though two of our Officers sustained injuries.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the fact that a smuggler has evaded scrutiny either by following unapproved route or compromising any Officer does not guarantee that the smuggled item will not be seized anywhere it is found by patrol officers whose duty is to ensure compliance.
While lamenting the misleading report, the Controller, Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, Comptroller Mohammed Uba urged media practitioners to verify their facts before rushing to the press.