An officer of the Nigerian Customs Service was killed by suspected smugglers while on patrol on Sinau-Kenu Road in Baruteen Local Government Area of Kwara.
Customs spokesman in Kwara, Mr Chado Zakari, who confirmed the the incident in a statement in Ilorin on Monday, October 24, 2022, said the the Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT) Sector 3 of the service were ambushed on Friday.
According to him, the group of hoodlums shot sporadically and pelted the personnel with other dangerous items while in transit having evacuated some abandoned thirty jerry cans of PMS and forty bags of rice.
However, one of the Officers paid the supreme price while three others, sustain various varying degrees of injury and are being treated in an undisclosed hospital.
Zakari said the deceased, ASCI Saheed Aweda has been buried according to Islamic rites in his home town, Popogbona in Ilorin West Local Government of Kwara State.
“JBPT Sector 3 operatives on information patrol along Sinau-Kenu Road in Baruten LGA of Kwara State intercepted 40 bags of foreign parboiled rice, 50kg each, and 30 jerrycans of Premium Motor Spirit, 25 litres each, abandoned on the bush path, Sinau-Kenu Road,: the statement read.
“The operatives immediately swung into action and removed the seized items into their operational vehicles for onward delivery to a government warehouse for safe-keeping in line with rules of engagement. While on transit, a group of hoodlums laid ambush and attacked our personnel with guns, stones, bottles, cutlasses, sticks, charms and other dangerous items.
“The hoodlums shot sporadically at the officers. In the fiery exchange that ensued, one of our officers succumbed to the cold hands of death, while three officers sustained life-threatening injuries and are currently responding to treatment in a hospital.”
He said Comptroller Olugboyega Peters, Representatives of DSS, NPF, ONSA, NIA, Immigration and other security agencies have visited the family of the deceased to commiserate with them and prayed for the deceased officer whose sacrifice is deeply appreciated and held in high esteem.
Meanwhile, the Coordinator Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT) Compt. Olugboyega Peters has ordered a full-scale investigation to fish out the criminals who perpetuated the inhuman aggression.
“This trend of unprovoked attacks by faceless cowards whose intention is to instil fear in the minds of law enforcement operatives shall not go unpunished. Neither will it dampen the resolve of officers and men from carrying out their statutory functions.” the statement reads.
While thanking the intervention and reinforcements from JBPT Headquarters Team, JBPT Ilesha Baruba, Kwara Command, Customs Police and 224 Recce Battalion of the Nigeria Army for swift action, he states that the Sector will continue to prosecute the anti-smuggling crusade despite the unwarranted attacks.