Lagos/Shagamu Killing: Customs Detains Officers, Commences Investigation Into Incident

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Hyacinth Chinweuba 

Four operatives of the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, who were on duty during when an innocent person was killed during an argument between passengers and the Customs officers are now being detained to face disciplinary  measures.

The Customs responding to the unfortunate incident on Sunday 17th February 2019 at Shagamu Interchange involving Operatives of the Federal Operations Unit Zone A, which led to the death of Mr. Godwin Agada Onoja,  has also maintained close contact with the bereaved family. 

A statement by the Service, said, “We are pained by this sad development and share the grief of losing a fellow compatriot in a seemingly avoidable circumstance. We are and will continue to take every necessary step that will cushion the pain associated with losing a dear one.

Consequently, the Comptroller-General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) has directed a thorough investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the incident with the view to ensuring that justice is served. 

In line with this directive, the investigation panel headed by the Zonal Coordinator Zone A, ACG Kaycee Ekekezie has interrogated and detained four members of the patrol team. The panel could not immediately conclude the investigation because the actual officer (ASCI Destiny Onebamho) whose riffle discharged is presently receiving medical attention as a result of attack following the unfortunate incident. 

He will face the panel as soon as he is fit to do so, to enable the panel conclude investigation and recommend appropriate action(s).

The statement noted that the NCS is a reputable organization known for integrity and responsibility, adding, “In line with our corporate values, we will not shield any operative found wanting in this ongoing investigation. The Service appreciates the public concern and strong emotions drawn from the viral video with narratives that created various opinions.

It will be recalled that in 2017, the Service made public its investigation and dismissal of five (5) officers implicated in the illegal release of the 661-pump action riffles from Apapa Port. The dismissed officers were immediately handed over for prosecution along side the importer and agent. A prosecution that is ongoing at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi Lagos.

In the same vein, the ongoing investigation will be holistic including looking at the weapon handling skills and actions that must be taken by the Service to possibly prevent future occurrence, the statement added.

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