The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, on Thursday said three persons were killed when the unit repelled an attempt to abduct its officer on duty.
The Acting Controller of the Unit, Usman Yahaya, disclosed this in a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer, Theophilus Duniya, on Friday in Lagos.
Mr Yahaya said that at 3.00 p.m. on May 13, some “dare devil smugglers” accompanied by thugs attacked a patrol team serving with the unit at Iseyin, Oyo State.
“The officers, who were on routine patrol, intercepted two Nissan Pathfinder SUV vehicles fully loaded with smuggled foreign parboiled rice at Iseyin.
“Sequel to the interception, the officers were attacked by a mob who were mobilised by the smugglers.
“The mob attacked the officers with dangerous weapons, inflicting serious injuries on two officers and attempted to abduct the officer, who was brutally attacked.
“The assailants had taken the injured officer with his rifle before his team members, who acted in self-defence, shot at his suspected abductors.
“This led to the death of three of them before he was rescued and taken for immediate medical attention,” he said.
The casualty figure is one less than the earlier reported number disclosed by witnesses.
Mr Yahaya noted that the officers successfully evacuated the intercepted smuggled rice, while injured officers were receiving treatment.
He expressed sadness over the avoidable incident and urged community leaders and parents to call their wards and youths to order.
The official lamented the criminality of obstructing and attacking officers on lawful duty, describing it as a venture that yields no good for all, including the Service.