Gunmen suspected to be bandits have killed two officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and injured another while on patrol along the Lokoja-Okene Road in Niger State.
The Customs Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Lomba Benjamin, confirmed this in a statement forwarded to Channels Television on Tuesday.
He identified those killed as two Assistant Superintendents of Customs – S. Ohiremen and S.M. Omale – while a Deputy Superintendent of Customs, H.I. Oladapo, sustained a gunshot injury.
Benjamin explained that the incident occurred on Thursday last week and the injured officer was quickly moved to Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja where he was treated and later discharged.
He condemned the attack on the officers and others, saying Customs personnel should not be the targets for persons aggrieved by the government’s policies.
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“Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service are only implementers of Federal Government policies, hence we urge every Nigerian citizen aggrieved toward losing his/her goods to engage the services of the court rather than resort to violence and killing of family men who are the breadwinners of their families while serving their Nation,” Benjamin decried.
He added, “The Nigeria Customs Service, Niger/Kogi Command has continued to maintain close contact with the bereaved families.
“We are pained by the sad development and share in the grief of losing fellow officers, colleagues, brothers, husbands, fathers, and the likes.”
The public relations officer noted that Customs would continue to work with other security agencies in identifying the suspects and bring them to justice.
Omale, according to him, was buried on Friday last week according to Islamic rights in Ayamba village of Kogi State.
Benjamin said the Customs Area Controller, Abba-Kassim Yusuf, paid a condolence visit to Omale’s family on Saturday last week.
During the visit, Yusuf assured the family that the management would deploy all necessary mechanisms to ensure the perpetrators were apprehended.
The public relations officer said Ohiremen would also be buried at his hometown in Ondo State in January, stressing that the attack would not distract personnel from discharging their statutory functions.