Suspected Bandits Kidnap Four Customs Officers in Katsina

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Francis Sardauna in Katsina

Suspected bandits on Wednesday kidnapped four officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Jibia Local Government area of Katsina State.

The four Customs officers, according to residents of the area, were abducted at a checkpoint in Dan-Bedi village along Jibia-Batsari road at about 10: 12 a.m.

This is coming barely 24 hours after Umar Isah, a senior lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, was allegedly killed by the bandits in Malumfashi Local Government area of Katsina State.

Confirming the abduction of the Customs officers to THISDAY on Wednesday, a resident of Jibia who craved anonymity, said that seven bandits reportedly arrived at the checkpoint, shooting sporadically into the air and whisked the victims away.

He said: “The bandits on motorcycles arrived the Customs checkpoint this morning (Wednesday) and seized the officers’ weapons and shot sporadically to scare residents and kidnapped the officers alongside many motorists who were on their way to Batsari.

“The bandits later went North-east and disappeared into the forest with the officers and the motorists. And other commercial drivers, who escaped the attack, ran to Jibia town.”

When contacted, the spokesman of the Katsina State Customs Area Command, Peter Duniya, said he was on leave but a credible source within the command said they got the information of the incidence but were yet to confirm it.

He said: “We got information about the incidence this morning (Wednesday) and investigation is ongoing to know whether the officers were kidnapped, but I am not the right person to talk to you.”

In a related development, bandits reportedly attacked a viewing centre in Jibia town on Tuesday and killed two people, leaving many with varying degrees of injuries.

Idris Usman, who survived the attack, said: “We were watching a football match when the bandits attacked us. They killed two people and abducted four others. Those who sustained injuries during the attack are receiving treatment at Jibia General Hospital.”