Operatives of the Ogun I Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, patrol team on surveillance were last week attacked by smugglers who matcheted a member of the team after it seized 35 bags of 50kg of smuggled parboiled rice at Ilashe village in Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State.
A statement signed by the Command’s Public Relation Officer, Maiwada Abdullahi, said that during the operation, the team intercepted 35 bags of 50kg rice each ferried by a convoy of motorcyclists (popularly known as okada).
According to Abdullahi, on their way out of the area, the smugglers mobilised themselves in an overwhelming number, launching a vicious attack on the team with assorted weapons.
In an effort to repel the attack and avoid bloodshed, one officer of the Customs, Assistant Superintendent Chidi Johnson, was brutally matcheted, sustaining deep cuts in various parts of his body.
The wounded officer was immediately rushed to the hospital for medical attention, and luckily he is responding to treatment.
Abdullahi stated that the operatives, however, arrested five suspects in connection with the incident and that these suspects were currently undergoing interrogation.
The Command’s spokeman said: “It is instructive to note that Friday, May 8, 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 activites 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.”