Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Ogun State Command, have shot and killed a 15-year-old girl, Sekinat Agbelade, while allegedly chasing smugglers.
The incident, which happened in Agosasa town in Ipokia Local Government Area on Saturday, has thrown the town into mourning.
The deceased, Daily Sun gathered, was on an errand when she was hit by a stray bullet from Customs.
She gave up the ghost at a private hospital in the community where she was rushed to for treatment.
Public Relations Officer of the command, Abdulahi Maiwada, confirmed the incident, saying “I can confirm the incident, but I don’t have the facts. By the time I have the facts, I would make it available.”
But an eyewitness said Customs officers were chasing a purple colour Toyota Camry allegedly driven by a suspected rice smuggler and that after arresting the smuggler, started shooting indiscriminately.
“Aside Sekinat who died, two other people, 55-year-old Oluwole Oladosu and Saliu Babalola, were also injured by stray bullets.
“The incident happened in Agosasa area. They started shooting sporadically at the people even after intercepting the smuggler.
“It was in the process that this lady, who was sent on an errand to buy nylon was hit by a bullet. Even with the bullet on her, she was making effort to run, but she became weak,” said the eyewitness.
“There is one 51-year-old Oluwole who saw the lady wriggling in pain because of the bullet wound and made an effort to rescue her. But these Customs officers, who had already moved the smuggled car, turned back and shot him for daring to save the young girl.
“The lady was taken to Olutunu Hospital at Agosasa where Dr. Fatokun made frantic effort to salvage her life, but she had lost a lot of blood because of the bullet wound and died.”
Meanwhile, the Caretaker Chairman of the local government, Kabir Abolurin, lamented the incessant killings of innocent citizens in the border town, stating that the matter will be discussed at the next local government security meeting.
“I got to Agosasa after the incident and they had removed the corpse of the girl. I spoke with the DPO of Ipokia and he said he has relayed the issue to the Commissioner of Police.
“We are tired and not happy about this continuous killing of our people by Customs. The Federal Government didn’t ask them to kill innocent citizens while chasing smugglers. They don’t have the right to shoot at people. We are simply in pains in Ipokia,” he said.