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Pandemonium broke out in Owode – Idiroko area of Ogun State when a 17 – year – old, Rilwan Bello was reportedly hit by stray bullets, allegedly, fired by the Operatives of the Nigeria Customs Servic when they raided locked – up shops in the area in search of suspected smuggled rice and other contraband goods.
PLATFORM TIMES learnt that about a dozen of the NCS Operatives were said to have stormed the Idiroko area in the morning and broke into many shops, sending unsuspecting traders scampering for safety even as the Operatives carried away many bags of rice, sugar among others.
PLATFORM TIMES also gathered that the stray bullets from the gun of one of the operatives struck the boy on the head while the operatives were shooting repeatedly into the air to ward off any counter- attack or violent resistance from the people.
It was gathered that Rilwan was a student at the Area Community High School, Owode.
It was also learnt that many people, including the traders also sustained various degrees of injuries during an ensuing stampede triggered by the gunshots being fired into the air by the NCS Operatives.
PLATFORM TIMES further gathered that soldiers and Policemen came to the scene to help restore normalcy.
A witness said, “This boy was killed this morning at Owode Idiroko by custom men. The boy’s name is Rilwan, a student at the Area community high school Owode.
“He is 15 years old boy. The customs men, broke into shops, parked away bags of sugar and rice. They were shooting into the the air to scare away reprisal attacks and in the process, their stray bullet hit the boy on the head,” the source said.
In his reaction, the Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Maiwada said the incident involved the Officers and Men of NCS Ogun I Command and Some suspected cultists, popularly known as _’Eiye boys’.
Maiwada alleged that the slain boy was a cultist.
Maiwada added that the Command had, however, launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident, pledging to make the outcome of the investigation available.
He said: “At about 0830hours of Friday, some group of miscreants, suspected to be cultists (popularly known as ‘eye boys’ ) violently confronted Officers of NCS Ogun I Command Anti-smuggling Patrol Team with assorted weapons at Owode (Yewa South LGA of Ogun State).
“The Team came across such hostility while peacefully performing their lawful duty with vivid arrest of smuggled 47 bags of sugar, 13 bags of rice (50 kg each) and three cartons of sugar stocked at a residence located along Owode-Idiroko Road.
“In the melee that ensued, information available revealed that one among the suspected cultists died, while Officers including the team leader sustain various degree of injuries.
“The name of the deceased who is popularly know among the ‘area boys’ is Owoeba. Other popular members of the notorious gang at large are Angaba, Wudor, Solomon (a.k.a K.Solo).
“We wish to use this opportunity to acknowledge the timely intervention of Nigerian Army 192 Battalion Owode, Operatives of National Border Drill, Nigeria Police Force Owode.
“In the same vein, we wish to recognize the patriotic Owode Youths who shunned the cultists and assisted the operatives Nigeria Customs Service to evacuate the offensive goods.
“Their action is worthy of emulation as the NCS is always out to perform their duty for the common good of the entire nation.”
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