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Customs’ stray bullet kills alleged 17-year old cultist

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Ruckus erupted at Owode Yewa in Yewa South local government area of Ogun State when a bullet , alledgedly fired by Operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service hit a17-year old, Rilwan Bello during raids of locked – up shops in the area in search of suspected smuggled rice and other contraband goods.

It was when bout 12 operatives of the NCS stormed Owode town in the morning and broke into many shops, sending unsuspecting traders scurry for safety even as the operatives carried away bags of rice, sugar among others, shooting into the air ; Hence, traders and even passers-by sustained injuries during the ensued stampede.

As the confusion and tension heightened with some youths threatening violence, soldiers and policemen also hurried to the scene to help restore normalcy to the troubled Owode town, which the witness said, initially overwhelmed the NCS Operatives.

Rilwan, a student at the Area Community High School, Owode, had dropped dead in a pool of his blood, allegedly, following the impact of the stray gunshot wound.

The customs men were said to have broke into shops, parking away bags of sugar and rice. They were shooting into the air to scare away retaliating attacks and in the process, their stray bullet hit the boy on the head.

In reaction to the incident, Abdullahi Maiwada, the Public Relations Officer, for Customs Area Controller, Ogun I Command, said the incident involved the Officers and Men of NCS Ogun I Command and Some suspected cultists, popularly known as ‘Eiye boys,’ who violently attacked the team with various weapons, during a peaceful raid ;claiming that the slain boy was a cultist.

However, the command has launched an investigation into the incident ,assuring the availability of outcome of the investigation soon.

He said: “At about 08:30hours on Friday, some group of miscreants, suspected to be cultists (popularly known as ‘eye boys’) violently confronted Officers of NCS Ogun I Command anti-smuggling Patrol Team with assorted weapons at Owode (Yewa South LGA of Ogun State).

“The Team came across such hostility while peacefully performing their lawful duty with vivid arrest of smuggled 47 bags of sugar, 13 bags of rice (50 kg each) and three cartons of sugar stocked at a residence located along Owode-Idiroko Road.

Reports gathered that one among the suspected cultists died, while Officers including the team leader sustain various degree of injuries.

“The name of the deceased who is popularly know among the ‘area boys’ is Owoeba. Other popular members of the notorious gang at large are Angaba, Wudor, Solomon (a.k.a K.Solo).
Officer Abdullahi thereby seized the opportunity to acknowledge the timely intervention of Nigerian Army 192 Battalion Owode, Operatives of National Border Drill, Nigeria Police Force Owode.

He further recognized the patriotic Owode Youths who have shunned cultism and assisted the operatives Nigeria Customs Service to evacuate the offensive goods.

Reported by:  Fatima Oyesanmi

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