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Ogun Customs Clarifies Viral Video: Officers Attacked By Smugglers During Operation

In a recent statement, the Ogun 1 Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has addressed a viral video depicting a confrontation between its officers and smugglers. 

According to the Public Relations Officer, Hammed Oloyede, the incident occurred on Saturday, December 16, 2023, around the Lafenwa/Enu Gada axis of Abeokuta.

The officers were reportedly evacuating smuggled goods from two faulty vehicles when they came under attack from hoodlums suspected to have been mobilized by the smugglers.

The seriousness of the assault, which transpired at approximately 7:15 am, prompted the officers to call for reinforcement. 

Despite the challenges, they successfully repelled the attack, securing the seized goods and transferring them to the command’s warehouse in Abeokuta.

Hammed Oloyede emphasized that the command, led by the Acting Customs Area Controller, Ahmadu Shuaibu, prioritizes the safety of its host communities and disapproves of the arbitrary use of firearms. 

However, he noted that in situations posing a severe threat to life, the officers may apply the rules of engagement for self-protection.

“I would like to state emphatically that the Command under the leadership of the Ag. Customs Area Controller Ahmadu Shuaibu values the lives of its host communities and frowns at the arbitrary use of firearms. 

However, in situations with a severe threat to life, the rules of engagement must be evoked for self-protection,” said Oloyede.

He expressed regret over the situation that might have caused fear among residents and the public. 

While highlighting the commitment to lawful duties, Oloyede assured that operatives would continue to operate within the ambit of the law and adhere to the rules of engagement.

Oloyede also pointed out the legal consequences for obstructing, molesting, or assaulting officers on lawful duty, citing the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023. Offenders could face conviction, a fine of five million Naira, imprisonment for five years, or a combination of both penalties.

Additionally, he highlighted Section 226 of the NCSA, empowering Customs operatives to carry out patrols freely, particularly in anti-smuggling operations within Ogun State.

 

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