JBPT Loses Customs Officer To Smugglers Attack
BY GBOGBOWA GBOWA
The Joint Border Patrol Team comprising of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) weekend lost an officer whose name was given as ASCI Saheed Aweda to hoodlums believed to be sympathetic to smugglers from who contraband items made up of rice and petrol were seized.
A statement by the Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Kwara Area Command, Chado Zakari on behalf of the Coordinator JBPT said three other officers who sustained grave injuries are lying in critical conditions at the hospital where they were taken after the unprovoked, horrendous attack along the Sinau-Kenu Road of the state.
Zakari said the officers who responded to information about smuggling activities had successfully seized and secured the items, and were on their way to the head office to deposit the items ran into an ambush by the hoodlums.
The statement reads: “Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT) Sector 3 operatives on information patrol along Sinau-Kenu road in Baruten LGA of Kwara State intercepted forty (40) bags of foreign parboiled rice 50kg each and Thirty (30) jerry cans of premium motor spirit (PMS) 25 each litres abandoned the bush paths, Sinau-Kenu Road.
“The operatives immediately swung to action and evacuated the Seized items into their operational vehicles for onward delivery to Government Warehouse for safe keeping in line with rules of engagement. While on transit, a group of hoodlums laid ambush and pelted our personnel with guns, stones, bottles, cutlasses, sticks, charms and other dangerous items.”
The statement continued: “Hoodlums laid ambush and shot sporadically at Officers. In the fiery exchange that ensued, one of our officers succumbed to the cold hands of death, while three (3) officers sustained life threatening injuries and are currently responding to treatment in the hospital.
The deceased ASCI Saheed Aweda has been buried according to Islamic right in his home town, Popogbona in Ilorin West Local Government of Kwara State”
According to the statement, Coordinator of the JBPT Sector 3, Comptroller Olugboyega Peters, Representatives of DSS, NPF, ONSA, NIA, Immigration and other security agencies have visited the family of the deceased to commiserate with them.
“The Coordinator Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT) Compt. Olugboyega Peters has ordered a full scale investigation to fish out those criminals who perpetuated this barbaric, cruel and inhuman aggression.
“Our prayers go out to the family of the deceased officer whose sacrifice is deeply appreciated and held in high esteem. To those wounded, the Sector promises to stand by them on their journey to recovery and full restoration of health.”
Peters was quoted as saying that the government will not be intimidated to give up its statutory duty of protecting the economic policies of the country or drawn into any sort of negotiation, warning that all those involved in the dastard attack would be hunted and brought to justice; even as he commended sister agencies and patriotic citizens of the sector for their continued support.
“The sector wishes to commend the patriotic roles of our sister Agencies and law abiding citizens in assisting the sector to perform its lawful duty of implementing partial closure of our land borders in the interest of our dear country.
“The intervention of Reinforcements from JBPT Headquarters Team, JBPT Ilesha Baruba, Kwara Command, Customs Police and 224 Recce Battalion of the Nigeria Army where immediately dispatched and have since restored normalcy while the contraband items were moved to JBPT Headquarters, Ilorin for safe keeping.
“This trend of unprovoked attacks by faceless cowards whose intention is to instill fear in the minds of law enforcement operatives shall not go unpunished. Neither will it dampen the resolve of officers and men from carrying out their statutory functions.
“We wish to categorically state that we will continue to prosecute the anti-smuggling crusade in spite of the unwarranted attacks. The sector want to use this medium to advice parents/guardians to warn their wards to desist from obstructing our operatives from performing their legitimate duties as the Sector will not hesitate to use appropriate force in line with rules of engagement and will leave the Officers with no other alternative than to defend themselves in the interest of the nation.”