Pandemonium greeted Ebute community on Oja-Odan Road, Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State on Wednesday, as operatives of Nigeria Customs Service reportedly shot dead a 25-year-old man identified as Kehinde.
The deceased, who was said to be the son of a retired military officer, was allegedly shot dead in the early hours of Wednesday by customs officials who were in search of smugglers in the area.
It was gathered that Kehinde, a farmer who also doubled as a labourer, was shot dead on his way to the farm.
An eyewitness explained that the customs officers stormed the area in the morning to arrest some smugglers who had fled before their arrival.
He said, “They accused the deceased, who was holding a cutlass and on his way to the farm, of being a smuggler and shot him to death.”
The customs officers reportedly fled the scene leaving the body of the farmer behind only to return minutes later with about 15 patrol vehicles to carry his remains.
They were, however, reportedly stopped by some army officers believed to have been contacted by the deceased’s father.
The body of the farmer was later deposited at the morgue in Ilaro General Hospital while residents of the community have demanded justice.
When contacted, the police public relations officer of the Ogun State command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Abdulah Maiwada, confirmed the incident, saying the operatives were in the area on the trail of a military truck being smuggled into the country through the area.
Mr Maiwada said “officers of Nigeria Customs Service Ogun Command on routine patrol based on credible intelligence at about 08:30hours trailed a military truck-head smuggled into the country and kept at Ebute Community.
“In an attempt to secure the said vehicle, some unscrupulous members of the community mobilised themselves by blocking the access road and started pelting our personnel with stones, bottles, cutlasses, sticks and other dangerous items.
“Considering the implication of such truck to national security, our officers resisted and called for reinforcement to cordon the area for the safe evacuation of the truck.”
He said one of the hoodlums was shot at the upper part of his leg (pelvic girdle) and consequently died.