Families demand 4.5 billion compensation over killing of four by custom

By Gift Chapi Odekina

Families of victims of the shooting by officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Iseyin, Oyo state are demanding a compensation of N4.5 billion from the service.

Men of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A in Iseyin allegedly killed four and injured one in a cross fire between the officers and suspected smugglers on May 13, 2021.

Also the families of four persons allegedly killed and three injured by the NCS on July 16, 2021 by the Customs at Igangan, Igbo Ora, Ayete, and Tapa in the Ibarapa area of Oyo State have also demanded for the sum of N580 million compensation.

They all also demanded prosecution of the Officers of the Service involved in the incidents as well as a public apology from the Customs.

Speaking at an investigative hearing into the killings on Wednesday, Counsel to the Iseyin community, Olugbenga Akinlabi said “according to the information we had, some men of the Nigerian Customs chased some smugglers from the border town into the community. Iseyin is a community that is populated and people were coming from the prayer ground and there were indiscriminate shooting into the air buy men of the Nigerian Customs.

“As a result of their shooting, there casualties namely Samson Oluwatobi – 30years; he’s represented here today by Mrs. Bosede Akinlotan; Yekini Adbulahi, he’s represented here today by Azeez Rasheed; Timothy Gbadegeshi is represented here today by Gbadegeshi Mathew and Wasiu Adesokan is represented here today by Adewale Adesokan.

“Also, Muraina Taiwo who is here sustained gun shot in three places in his body. He was lifeless, it was God that made him recover from the gunshot. The rest whose names were mentioned did not survive it.

“These individuals who lost their lives have relatives and dependants. To live has become a problem to the families left behind by the deceased and also Muraina Taiwo who is alive today could not return back to his work. So he needs to be compensated so that he can be restored back and able to make a living of himself.

“They have so much fate in this House and they believe justice will be done and justice will be served. They are asking for the perpetrators of this heinous crime to be identified and be brought to book. They are asking for apology

“In respect for the disease, they are asking for compensation to the tune of N1 billion each for each family and for Muraina who sustained gunshot injury is asking for N500 million. That is a total of N4.5 billion for the dependants and the injured.”

Three persons spoke on behalf of Igangan, Igbo Ora, Ayete, and Tapa in the Ibarapa area of Oyo State and they are Hon Shittu Ololade, Hon Okedeji Olusegun amd Sarafa Olaoniye.

They demanded N100 million for Muritala Ajasa, who was killed in the inciddent. They also demanded N95 million for Mr Hassan Sulikufuli who was killed. Also for Sunday Oluwari and one Mr Zhulikifi, who were also killed, N80 million was demanded for each of them.

Those who sustained injures were Mr Olayode Sammud, Adeleke Damilola and Idris Lamidi who N75 million was demanded for each of them.

Representing the Customs were Deputy Comptroller General, DCG E. I. Edorhe, Acting Comptroller FOU, Zone A, HK Ejibunu and officer in charge of Iseyin Base, Ali Biu among others.

The lawmakers also grilled the the Customs over an accident involving a Customs vehicle that led to the death of 10 persons and injuring about 20 other in Jibia Town, Katsina State.

Edorhe said the Katsina incident was purely an accident and the vehicle was not going after smugglers as was reported.

It was a heated session as the lawmakers and Customs disagreed over the Iseyin and Ibarapa incidents.

The lawmakers accused the Customs of abuse of powers as the officers said they had to defend themselves.

They however denied that they killed anyone in Iseyin.

Chairman of the Committee, Leke Abejide, said the hearing was not to witch-hunt anybody but to see how the issues could be resolved amicably in the interest of all parties.


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