Suspected smugglers have attacked operatives of the Joint Border Patrol Team Sector 3 of the Nigeria Customs Service in the Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara State, killing one of its officers, identified as Saheed Aweda during a gun duel.
A statement issued on Monday by the Kwara Area Command of Customs Public Relations Officer, Chado Zakari, stated that incident occurred last Friday while the team was on patrol along the Sinau-Kenu road in the Baruten Local Government Area of the state.
Chado said the operatives had intercepted 40 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each and 30 jerry Cans of premium motor spirit abandoned in the bush path along Sinau-Kenu Road, and were conveying them to Government Warehouse when the hoodlums ambushed the team, pelted them with guns, stones, bottles, cutlasses, sticks, charms and other dangerous items.
“The hoodlums laid ambush and shot sporadically at Officers. In the fiery exchange that ensued, one of our officers succumbed to the cold hands of death, while 3 officers sustained life threatening injuries and are currently responding to treatment in the hospital.
“The deceased ASCIS Saheed Aweda has been buried according to Islamic rights in his hometown, Popo-Igbona in Ilorin West Local Government of Kwara State.
“Comptroller Olugboyega Peters, Representatives of DSS, NPF, ONSA, NIA, Immigration and other security agencies have visited the family of the deceased to commiserate with them. Our prayers go out to the family of the deceased officer whose sacrifice is deeply appreciated and held in high esteem.
“To those wounded, the Sector promises to stand by them on their journey to recovery and full restoration of health. The sector wishes to commend the patriotic roles of our sister Agencies and law-abiding citizens in assisting the sector to perform the lawful duty of implementing partial closure of our land borders in the interest of our dear country.
“The intervention of Reinforcements from JBPT Headquarters Team, JBPT Ilesha Baruba, Kwara Command, Customs Police, and 224 Recce Battalion of the Nigerian Army were immediately dispatched and have since restored normalcy while the contraband items were moved to JBPT Headquarters, Ilorin for safe keep.”
Chado said that the Comptroller General of Customs has ordered a full-scale investigation into the matter with a view to fishing out those who carried out the act.