Gunmen suspected to be smugglers have killed another Customs officers, Inspector Onwegbuzie A, in Ogun state and dump his body inside a pit.
Speaking during a press conference in Lagos, on Wednesday, the Customs Area Controller, Federal Operation Unit (FOU), Zone A, Hussein Ejibunu, said the slain officer was killed while discharging lawful duty.
Ejibunu, who condemned the gruesome killing of Onwegbuzie said the long arms of the law will catch up with such murderers who dumped the murdered officer’s body in a pit.
Smugglers, according to him, will always face stiff confrontation as the unit will never be deterred by the attacks and recent killing in the line of duty.
He said, “The fight against smuggling is becoming more and more intense and fierce due to increased level of crime. Smugglers are more determined than ever before to confront officers on patrol even unprovoked.
“This new wave of daring attitude of smugglers has claimed the lives of many officers; the latest being the hacking to death with machete of Inspector of Customs Onwegbuzie along Senator Road, Ilaro axis of Ogun State, after making a seizure on Wednesday 2nd March, 2022.
“The officer was not only gruesomely murdered but his body was dumped in a deep pit. Nevertheless, with the timely arrival of other patrol teams, three arrests were made in connection with the murder and 78 bags of smuggled parboiled rice at 50kg each and six motorcycles were equally seized.
Ejibunu also said another set of officers were also atta led on the 9th of March, 2022 during routine patrol.
His words, “On Wednesday 9th March, 2022, a patrol team uncovered several rice barns in a thick bush in Ogun state. The discovery which was made in the night, triggered gunshots from smugglers directed at officers. Officers never bulged and in the morning, evacuated 845 bags of foreign parboiled rice to the Station.
“Another attack took place on Wednesday 16th March, 2022, along Oyan-Oni-Chain, Idere at Ibarapa area of Oyo State after making seizure of 105 bags of foreign parboiled rice at 50kg each. During that attack which was repelled, a fleeing smuggler dropped his locally made pump action rifle with four (4) cartridges which the team brought to the Station.
“In the same vein, a team that intercepted two (2) Toyota Camry vehicles laden with 86 bags of smuggled parboiled rice at 50kg each along Owode/Idiroko road of Ogun State was again attacked by smugglers.
“The team not only secured the seizure but it also repelled the attackers during which one was shot in the leg and arrested alongside his dane gun and one cutlass. The suspect is currently receiving treatment, but under guard. You can now see the number of attacks just for the month of March, 2022, alone.
“The situation we have on our hands requires all hands to be on deck. It therefore behoves on all of us to fight this common and dangerous enemy called smuggling” the Acting Controller said.
He also called on members of the public to share credible information with the service that could forestall smuggling activities and lead to arrest of more smugglers.