The Ogun 1 Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has declared one of its drivers missing after an attack during a routine mobile patrol along Olorunlere village, in Ado Odo Ota Local Government Area of the state, after some vehicles allegedly conveying banned imported rice were intercepted.
In a press statement by the Public Relations Officer of the command, Hammed Bukoye Oloyede, the driver, Taiwo Odeyemi was missing and has not been found while investigations have been launched to ascertain his whereabouts.
“On Thursday, 3rd of December, 2020 at about 12:10 hours, a team of Officers and Men of Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun I Command while on routine mobile patrol along with Olorunlere village, near Alapoti, Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State intercepted some vehicles loaded with bags of foreign parboiled rice,” he said.
According to him, the suspected smugglers sensing their loss on sighting the patrol team attempted to evade arrest and eventually started shooting sporadically at the Officers which resulted in a serious exchange of fire between the two sides.
“Consequently, the patrol team called for reinforcement. However, before the intervention from other units, they were overwhelmed due to the numeric strength of the smugglers/hoodlums. In the ensuing commotion, the team tactically withdrew to enable the arrival of the reinforcements teams”
“On the arrival of the military personnel and other units of Customs including Federal Operations Unit (FOU) as requested by the CAC, the hoodlums had already vandalised one of the official vehicles attached to the team. It was later discovered that an official driver, CA I (T) Taiwo J Odeyemi was missing and has not been found as at the time of writing this report.”
The Public Relations Officer said the investigation is ongoing and effort is being made along with other security agencies and other critical stakeholders to locate the whereabouts of the missing officer and rescue him alive.
Meanwhile, the Customs Area Commander, Peter Kolo has strongly warned smugglers and their supporters that the incessant attacks leave Officers with no other choice than to use appropriate force to deal with this new wave of criminal attacks on personnel performing their statutory functions.
He said that the Command will not be deterred by this and will step up its offensive against those whose interests are to make profits at the expense of the Nation.
The Customs boss has also vowed to ensure that those behind this attack face the full wrath of the law and justice.