In two distinct occurrences this week, Customs officers in Kebbi and Katsina States have been shaken as suspected bandits and smugglers carried out violent assaults, leading to the loss of two officers' lives and causing injuries to another.
Two separate incidents this week have left Customs officers in Kebbi and Katsina States reeling after suspected bandits and smugglers launched violent attacks, resulting in the death of two officers and injuries to another.
Expressing deep concern, the Comptroller FOU ‘B’ Musa Ibrahim Jalo warned that further assaults on customs officers in the area would be met with fierce resistance, noting that a directive has been given for a comprehensive investigation to identify and apprehend the perpetrators behind the attacks.
According to Jalo, such violent attack will not deter operatives of the unit from discharging their duties, irrespective of whose ox is gored.
The Customs Area Controllers for the affected areas also called on traditional rulers, community leaders, and parents to speak to their subjects against such dastardly acts, as anyone caught will be made to face the consequences.
They equally urged members of the public to provide any information regarding suspected smugglers and criminals to assist in maintaining law and order, assuring informants of strict confidentiality in the collaborative effort to ensure the safety and security of the nation.
In Kebbi State, on Wednesday, August 24, 2023, the Acting Public Relations Officer, Kebbi Area Command, ASC II, Mubarak Mustapha, in a statement disclosed that while customs officers from the Kebbi Area Command were conducting a routine stop-and-search operation along Bunza, Dakingari, Koko Road, suspected bandits, driving an ash-colored Toyota Corolla ambushed them, shooting sporadically.
An Inspector of Customs, Alhaji Kabiru Shehu and a Customs Assistant II, Abdullahi Muhammad were killed in the attack.
In a separate incident on August 23, SC Isah Sulaiman, the Customs Public Relations Officer for Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘B’ (FOU ‘B’) Kaduna, disclosed that operatives under the zone while on patrol in the Dankama Area were attacked by suspected smugglers.
The assault left an Inspector of Customs, Haruna A. seriously injured and is currently receiving medical treatment at a hospital.