Sheriff Balogun in Abeokuta
The Nigeria Customs Service and the smugglers on Sunday night clashed in Oke- Odan town at Yewa area of Ogun State following the alleged killing of three children and four others by customs officers while chasing smugglers.
Some witnesses who spoke with journalists said the customs officers chased some suspected smugglers who smuggled two vehicles loaded with rice coming from Igolo, a border town between Nigeria and Benin Republic.
While the vehicles were seized by the customs, the smugglers launched an attack on the customs which led to the death of three children, a roadside mechanic, panel-beater and a secondary school leaver, simply identified as Ade.
Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi and customs officer, Usman Abubakar, however, said only two people lost their lives.
Abubakar said three of their officers sustained injury during the attack by the smugglers, adding that three of their check points were burnt down.
He said: “Two people have been confirmed dead. Our officers were attacked by smugglers on their way to Idi-Iroko office after seizing two vehicles loaded with rice at Ajilete.
“These smugglers carried guns, cutlasses, axe, broken bottles and stoned our officers with a view to recovering their vehicles with the contraband and injured three officers.
“We had to call for reinforcement of military and police before we could escaped from the smugglers, they burnt down three of our check points.”
Adejobi, therefore, said the command was aware of the clash between armed men and smugglers, saying only two casualties were recorded in the crisis and that the alleged mastermind of the incident identified as Oke Gbenro, had been arrested.