The House of Representatives has made recommendations that the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) should pay N390 million as compensation to families of the 18 people killed and 15 others injured by its operatives in different parts of Oyo State.
The House’s decision followed the adoption of the reports of the Committee on Customs and Excise, which investigated the unrest in Iseyin Local Government Area of Oyo State due to the Killing of indigenes; murder of innocent people in Jibia and brutal murder at Igangan, Igboora, Ayete, Tapa in Ibarapa Area of Oyo State by the men of the NCS.
The House had last year directed the Committee on Customs and Excise to investigate those ugly incidents after adoptions of motions, calling its attention on the heinous acts.
Presenting the report, Chairman of the Committee, Leke Abejide noted that life has no duplicate and cannot be replaced once lost, as such, the families of the deceased should be compensated in monetary terms and each soul lost in any of the incidents be compensated by the NCS with the sum of N20 million while those with gunshot injury be given N2 million.
Accordingly, N20 million compensation is to be paid to the four people killed in the Iseyin incident while the person who sustained a gunshot injury there is to get million for treatment, amounting to N82 million.
For the Jibia incident, the Nigerian Customs Service is to pay N20 million compensation for the 10 persons killed and N2 million to the 13 persons injured bringing the total to N226 million.
On the mayhem in Igangan, the House recommended that the NCS pay N20 million to families of the four people killed and N2 million to the one injured person, totaling N82 million.
The House further recommended that the officers involved in the acts of killings of innocent Nigerians should be brought to book, prosecuted, and punished accordingly to serve as a deterrent to others.
“Provision should be made for procurement of ballistic vehicles (Bullet Proof), Bullet Proof Vests, and helmets urgently for Nigeria Customs Service to confront the daredevil smugglers attacking their officers at Border Stations whenever the smugglers opened fire on them. This would encourage Nigeria Customs Service to be able to curtail smuggling with fewer casualties on their side.
“As constant conflict with communities is counterproductive and unsustainable, the Nigeria Customs Service should aggressively deepen its engagement with traditional rulers, community stakeholders, host communities, relevant trade associations, local police networks, and local security outfits to prevent future loss of lives and property on all sides,” it added.