Police Arrest 8, Begins Investigations into Customs Officer’s Death

22 Feb 2013

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 Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Umar Manko

John Iwori

No fewer than 8 persons, including some officials of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), have been arrested in connection with the shooting of a Customs officer, Mr. Baba Mohammed.

The NCS has also requested for the release of the vehicle containing the contraband the deceased and his colleagues wanted to impound during the shooting.

In the same vein, investigation to unravel the mystery behind the shooting of Mohammed, an Assistant Superintendent of Customs (ASC) II, has begun.

The suspects, who are already telling  the Police what they know about the circumstances that led to the killing of Mohammed while he was on duty, were arrested following  preliminary investigation into the matter that has shaken the Customs High Command.

Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Umar Manko, who confirmed the arrest of the suspects, said the NPF would not leave any stone unturned in the matter.

Mohammed was killed on February 16, 2013 by a colleague in the NCS, Federal Operations Zone ‘A’, Ikeja, Lagos, Mr. Musa Tunde Oseni, in a manner described as an “accidental discharge”.

Oseni, a Deputy Superintendent of Customs (DSC), was the head of a patrol team on official assignment along the busy Badagry-Lagos Expressway when the incident occurred. The incident has since thrown the unit into mourning as men and officers continue to discuss the incident in hushed tones.

Already, the Customs High Command has contacted the immediate family of Mohammed as part of its renewed efforts to ensure that they are properly informed of the circumstances that led to the death of their loved one who lost his life in active duty to his fatherland.
A favourite route of those who have embraced smuggling as a trade, the Badagry-Lagos Expressway leads to Seme, the premier border station between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin.

The patrol team, which include eight other officials, was said to have intercepted two vehicles, a Mercedes Benz Fakar bus and a Passat car, loaded with items suspected to be items  contained in the import prohibition list (IPL).

THISDAY gathered that in their attempt to apprehend the suspects alongside the goods, there was stiff resistance from the suspects which degenerated into a struggle between the officers and the smugglers.

In the ensuing confusion, a service pistol in the possession of Oseni, accidentally discharged and hit Mohammed, who was immediately rushed to the General Hospital, Igando, Lagos, where the doctor on duty confirmed the officer dead.

Public Relations Officer (PRO), NCS, FOU, Zone A, Ikeja, Lagos, Mr. Uche Ejesieme, had in an incident report to THISDAY, said Oseni has been handed over to the Police for further investigations.

He also disclosed that the prohibited items seized from the suspects have been transferred to the unit headquarters, Ikeja, Lagos.

Tags: Business, Customs Officer, Death, Featured, Investigations, Nigeria, police

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