A video has emerged online showing the killing of a man allegedly by officials of the Nigerian Customs.
In the video, several commuters apparently from a commercial bus are seen arguing with Customs officials, with several other commuters from other vehicles watching.
Amid angry scenes, a passenger can be heard warning an official not to touch his phone, while some others were arguing with another official. As the argument continued, a voice is heard saying, ‘Shoot him’ and a gun went off immediately after.
The sound of the gunshot is believed caused some of the people at the scene to flee with some others repeatedly shouting in pidgin English that the Customs officials have killed someone.
While the video did not capture the officer who pulled the trigger, it showed one of them clutching a gun standing over the body of the man who had been shot.
After lifting the man’s hand, and seeing it fall limply to the ground, the official and his colleagues tried to get back into their cars, but the civilians at the scene, however, rallied and prevented them from leaving the scene.
Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Customs Service, DC Joseph Attah, confirmed that the incident occurred today, at the “Sagamu Interchange, along Ijebu Ode”.
He, however, said contrary to claims that the person killed was a passenger, the man who was shot was a friend of the officials.
According to the Customs, the incident occurred during an attempt to obstruct the lawful performance of duty by passengers of a commercial bus (a white Toyota Hiace) suspected to be carrying bales of used clothing.
Attah said that preliminary findings indicate that the deceased identified simply as Godwin was hit accidentally “during the skirmishes and struggle [by the passengers] to disarm the officer”.
Read the full statement below:
The attention of the Nigeria Customs Service has been drawn to a disturbing video going viral with conflicting narratives.
While it is painful and totally unnecessary to lose lives in anti-smuggling operations, today at Sagamu Interchange along Ijebu Ode, attempt to obstruct lawful performance of duty by passengers of a commercial bus (a white Toyota Hiace) suspected to be carrying bales of used clothing led to the death of a young man (Godwin) and serious injury of a Customs Officer ASC 1, Destiny Onebanho.
Contrary to some narrative, the young man was not a passenger of the bus but a good citizen who always comes to fetch water for Customs patrol men anytime they return to base.
Preliminary findings indicate that it was during the skirmishes and struggle to disarm the officer that the rifle discharged and the friend of the Customs (Godwin) who lost his life.
The Service is already in touch with the bereaved family.
Sadly, it should be noted that while attention shifted to the dead and the wounded, the passengers who filmed with incited commentary boarded their vehicle and left, leaving the wrong impression that it was one of them that was killed.
While the wounded officer is under intensive care at the hospital, the patrol team has been recalled to the office for further investigation.
DC Joseph Attah
Public Relations Officer
For: Comptroller-General of Customs