Death of customs officers: Ogun residents flee, accuse operatives of razing houses


Following the killing of two officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Fagbohun village, Yewa South Local Government Area of Ogun State, residents of the area have fled their homes, accusing the officers of arresting them and burning their houses.

DAILY POST reported Wednesday that some suspected smugglers in the area attacked the NCS operatives on Tuesday, leading to two of them being declared missing.

They were later found dead in a river after a search party was arranged for them.

The Baale of Fagbohun village, Chief Simeon Fagbohun, cried out on Monday that there were reprisal attacks over the death of the slain customs officers.

The community leader alleged that The customs officers razed houses, motorcycles and others, while ransacking his palace.

It was said that the officers stormed in the middle of the night and took away some residents.

The village head clarified that the incident did not take place in his community as being spread, saying his people knew nothing about it.

Speaking to newsmen on Monday, he raised the alarm that his people had fled their houses when the customs invaded their houses and were yet to return.

His words: “I am here to clear some misinformation that I have read on the social media about our community on the death of some customs officers in that area.

“The officers were not killed in Fagbohun village. They were killed in Iya Sango village, but the village is now desolate. The Ohoris now live in Iya Sango where they make small settlements for farming.

“The village is in Yewa land, it is about 5km to Fagbohun village; but Fagbohun is where these smugglers pass through. It is the biggest village in that axis, having vulcanizers and schools.

“Those smugglers had a stopover in our village to fix their tyres and to eat. They stopped in a place called Eti Odo in Fagbohun.

“On October 26, the customs officers came to our place. My elder brother named Johnson Olarinde Fagbohun and I parted ways at Ilaro that day. I stayed in Ilaro while he went to the village. Around 7pm, he called that he has been arrested by some customs officers and they were taking him away alongside others to an unknown destination. He said it was in connection with some slain customs officers. I was surprised.

“We later saw that they had burnt Adeoye Fagbohun’s house, his three motorcycles also and his vulcanizing machine, which were all inside the house.

“One Iya Alate’s house was also burnt, the house of Mr Nathaniel was also burnt with one motorcycle. They entered Akao family’s house in the village, brought out three motorcycles and burnt them. It was the same Odunaro and Ogundipe’s houses, bikes were set on fire.

“They looted my palace, I can’t find two motorcycles in my house. The five pumping machines the farmers bought for irrigation in the dry season, we can’t find them either. The herbicide spraying machine and other chemicals on the farm, seven of them have been taken away. My doors were forced open,” the Baale alleged.

Contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the Federal Operating Unit, Zone A, Ikeja, Lagos, Theophilus Duniya debunked the allegations, saying only seven arrests were made in the village.

In spite of the gruesome killing of their officers, Duniya insisted that the operatives did not take the law into their hands.

According to Duniya, seven suspects were nabbed with dane guns and machetes.

“In as much as we seek to have justice for the slain officers, we cannot take the laws into our hands by destroying people’s property. So, what the Baale’s claims are, were not executed by our operatives.

“Operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service never burn anybody’s house or motorcycle. The only thing I know about authority that was done was the arrest of gun suspects that are in custody and they are really helping in our investigation.

“The arson or whatever form of destruction that was carried out in that village was done by mischief makers to tarnish the image of the service and our operatives. As I speak with you, one rifle is still missing,” Duniya explained.





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