By Boye Ajayi
A man, Atanda Idowu Moses, who was shot by trigger-happy Customs operatives in Oja Odan area of Yewa South council area of Ogun State on Saturday, has died, according to a Persecondnews investigations.
The deceased, was until his death the Chairman of the Nigerian Association of Panel Beaters in the area, was working in his shop when he was hit by stray bullets fired by men of the Ogun State Command of the Nigeria Customs Service.
Moses,who was the only surviving son of his aged mother, was immediately rushed to a private hospital in Oja Odan from where he was transferred to the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, where he passed on.
A relation of the deceased, Olatunji Olaniran, who confirmed this, said the officers allegedly shot indiscriminately under the guise of chasing smugglers.
Persecondnews recalls that no fewer than six fatal shooting by Customs had been recorded in Ogun State in recent times which attracted the attention of the Senate.
In July, Customs officers at Seme shot and killed two young boys –Hunsu Taiwo aged 12 and Ganjo Henry aged 10.
The boys were playing in their compound when they were hit by their bullets. Meanwhile, the Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun 1 Command, has denied any involvement in the gruesome killing of Idowu Moses.
A statement by the command’s spokesman, DSC A. Oloyede, said:
”On Saturday, 26th September, 2020 at about 0930 hours, officers and men Zone ‘B’ team of Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun I Command went on information patrol along Oja-odan, Egua axis and intercepted about 18 bags of foreign parboiled rice (50kg each) from a convoy of motorcycles, and a motorcycle left behind by some suspected smugglers who absconded with some other motorcycles after sighting our officers.
“However, the said rice and the motorcycle were evacuated inside the official patrol van and the team left the spot of the arrest.
“On their way out, our officers were ambushed and attacked by mob armed with dangerous weapons including dane guns, bottles, stones and charms which was used to launch a vicious attack on our officers and men. One officer, an Assistant Superintendent of Customs II A.K. Usman, was abducted along with his rifle by the hoodlums.’’
According to him, the team immediately called for reinforcements of both Customs and other Security agencies for assistance in restoring law and order and the abducted officer was rescued.
Oloyede said the Nigeria Customs Service, however, regretted the death of one Mr Idowu Moses said to have been hit by a stray bullet suspected to have been fired by one of the hoodlums, who used the gun of the abducted officer.