Customs officers shoot passenger dead over N5,000 bribe

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In a video circulating online a Customs officer is seen manhandled for allegedly killing an unidentified man over N5,000 bribe with the deceased lying dead in the pool of his blood.

The video surfaced online on Sunday with report by one of the persons at the scene filming the incident being heard saying it was happening along Benin-Asaba road.

The person covering the incident, apparently a woman, going by her account was a passenger in the ill-fated bus. She said occupants of the bus were just returning from abroad.

And on their way from Lagos, Customs officers stopped them and demanded for N5,000 bribe from the driver saying for not obliging them one of officers fired gunshot which killed a passenger.

The passengers reportedly mobilised and prevented the officers from leaving the scene.

However, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has contradicted the said female passenger’s claim saying the person killed by its officer was not a passenger in the bus and regretted his sad demise.

Instead, the deceased was a friend of his killer, according to a statement    Mr Joseph Attah, the Public Relations Officer of the service released where it was said that except for the sad incident the officers’ action was intra vires.

It reads: “It is painful and totally unnecessary to loose life in anti-smuggling operations. Today at Shagamu 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, ASC1, Destiny Onebamho.

”Contrary to some narratives, the young man was not a passenger of the bus but a good citizen who always come to fetch water for Customs Patrol men anytime they return to the base.

”Preliminary finding indicate that it was during the skirmishes and struggle with the passengers to disarm the officer that the riffle discharged and hit the friend of the Customs (Godwin) who lost his life.”

“Sadly, it should be noted that while attention shifted to the dead and the wounded, the passengers who filmed with inciting commentaries boarded their vehicles and left, leaving the wrong impression that it was one of them that was killed.”

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