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Customs Officer dies in battle over smuggled rice

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The Nigerian
Customs Service has lost one of its officers in an anti-smuggling operation
involving eight vehicles loaded with rice.

The incident
happened while the officer, Customs Assistant 1, Hamisu Sani, was on border
patrol alongside other officers, as they strategized on how to intercept the
vehicles with smuggled rice.

Unknown to
the customs patrol team, the smugglers had also perfected their plan to stop
the interception of the rice by laying ambush for the officers at Asero area of
Abeokuta, Ogun State, where Sani was killed.

Another officer whose identity was not immediately known was
also injured during the attack by the smugglers on Sunday.

It was gathered that Sani had earlier sustained injuries
during another attack from the smugglers before he was killed Sunday.

The other officer who sustained injuries is said to be taking
treatment in a hospital.

The Ogun State Customs Command spokesman, Mr. Abdullahi
Maiwada, in a statement to newsmen on Monday said the murdered officer had been
buried according to Islamic rites.

Maiwada, however, disclosed that two suspects had been
arrested in connection with the attack, and that the perpetrators of the act would
definitely be brought to book according to provisions of the law.

He added that the Command had also intercepted eight vehicles
that were loaded with the smuggled rice.

The statement read: “Meanwhile, two suspects have been
arrested by the police in connection with the incident and the eight vehicles
fully loaded with the smuggled rice have been secured at the Customs House,
Abeokuta, for further investigation.

“While we commend the patriotic role of our sister agencies
and law abiding citizens, we wish to categorically state that we will deploy
all necessary apparatuses to ensure that the perpetrators of this devilish act
are brought to book to face the full weight of the law.

“Finally, the recurrence of such form of hostility and
intimidation by smugglers and their accomplices on our officers and men will
never distract us from vigorously discharging our statutory functions.”

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