Customs officers shoot two-year-old while chasing smugglers


Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Ogun 1 Area Command who were pursuing some suspected rice smugglers Thursday night have shot a two-year-old girl, PREMIUM TIMES have learnt.

The incident occurred at Itawaya, near the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Yewa South Local Government Area of Ogun State.

Photos made available to this newspaper showed the bullet hitting the child’s armpit. She was rushed to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. A man also sustained gunshot injuries.

A witness said the customs officers opened fire on a suspected smuggler who turned out to be innocent.

The witness, who simply identified himself as Wale, said such incidents are recurring in the community.

“Those customs officers thought the man was smuggling rice, so they opened fire on him. It was one of the stray bullets that killed the child and also inflicted injuries on the mother,” he said.

“It was after they have committed the murder that they realized the man they were chasing was not with rice. That’s what we face here all the time.

“Unfortunately, it happened the day President Buhari was in other zones of the State to commission projects. May God rescue us,” a source said anonymously.

ALSO READ: Suspected Customs officers invade Ogun village, burn houses

When contacted, the spokesperson of the NCS in Ogun 1 Area command, Ahmed Oloyede, confirmed the incident.

He said the command is currently devastated by the development, adding that investigation has commenced into the incident.

“It is true, it happened and Oga (his boss) has been very devastated about the matter since he heard of it yesterday. In fact, I just learnt that he will be visiting the family of the toddler today.”

He added that the officers fired the shots in the line of duty.

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