According to a video making the rounds online, Customs officers on Sunday killed a young man in a passenger bus.
The deceased was said to be coming from Lagos with other passengers when the officers stopped the vehicle and demanded a N5,000 bribe.
In the ensuing altercation, one of the officers shot the passenger, a development that infuriated other passengers.
See video below :
This is so sad https://t.co/Y87ZhD27Rt
— Mr. Alabi of Lagos & Asaba. (@the_Lawrenz) February 17, 2019
From the video, the victim, shortly before he was shot dead, was seen arguing with the Customs officer along other passengers over what is unclear.
The Customs officer is heard threatening to shoot him.
Also, as the argument continued, a voice, believed to be that of another officer, is heard saying, “Shoot him.”
The victim, from the video, had dared the Custom officer to shoot, saying he was a Nigerian.
But, within a blink of the eyelid, the Customs officer is heard to have shot the man dead.
Soon after, the other gallant passengers are seen trying to prevent the officers from escaping after one of the officers is seen, clutching his gun and standing over the dead man. The officer, as seen in the video, raises the dead man’s hand to confirm that he was dead before they tried to put his corps in their patrol van but the other passengers, now wailing in horror, stopped them from doing so.
One of the passengers, a lady, is also heard wailing saying, “Because of N5000. They have killed him because of N5000.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Customs has denied its personnel deliberately shot dead the man.
In a statement on Sunday, Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Customs Service, DC Joseph Attah, confirmed the incident which he said occurred today, Sunday at the “Sagamu Interchange, along Ijebu Ode.”
Mr. Attah said the dead man was not a passenger of one of the vehicles packed for search but a friend of the officers who usually fetches water for them.
He said the man was accidentally shot dead by one of the officers when the skirmish was on.
Read the full statement below:
“The attention of the Nigeria Customs Service has been drawn to a disturbing video going viral with conflicting narratives.
While it is painful and totally unnecessary to lose lives in anti-smuggling operations, today at Sagamu Interchange along Ijebu Ode, attempt to obstruct lawful performance of duty by passengers of a commercial bus (a white Toyota Hiace) suspected to be carrying bales of used clothing led to the death of a young man (Godwin) and serious injury of a Customs Officer ASC 1, Destiny Onebanho.
Contrary to some narrative, the young man was not a passenger of the bus but a good citizen who always comes to fetch water for Customs patrol men anytime they return to base.
Preliminary findings indicate that it was during the skirmishes and struggle to disarm the officer that the rifle discharged and the friend of the Customs (Godwin) who lost his life.
“The Service is already in touch with bereaved family.
Sadly, it should be noted that while attention shifted to the dead and the wounded, the passengers who filmed with incited commentary boarded their vehicle and left, leaving the wrong impression that it was one of them that was killed.
While the wounded officer is under intensive care at the hospital, the patrol team has been recalled to the office for further investigation.
DC Joseph Attah
Public Relations Officer
For: Comptroller-General of Customs”