Man brutalised by Ogun customs officers cries for justice

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A 42-year-old businessman, Mr. Abayomi Abiona, has accused some operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service of assaulting him while they were in the convoy of their state comptroller.

Abiona, a resident of Agbara, Ogun State, told SUNDAY PUNCH that he was coming from Apapa in a public bus when the convoy overtook his bus and one of the operatives used a horsewhip on him.

He said, “I was coming from one of my business errands in Apapa and I sat in the front passenger seat of the commercial bus. Suddenly, the convoy of the state customs comptroller passed by our vehicle.

“The first escort vehicle and the comptroller’s vehicle had passed, leaving another escort vehicle, a Toyota Hilux pickup with number plate A01- 79CS behind.

“Immediately the last escort passed our vehicle, one of the officers sitting at the back of the pickup beat me with a horsewhip. I was left dumbfounded as well as other commuters of the vehicle I boarded.”

The businessman said he was deeply traumatised by the action of the customs officer.

Abiona said when the bus caught up with the escort vehicle, having also been stuck in a traffic jam, he walked up to the customs official who assaulted him to demand an explanation for such action.

However, he was said to have been beaten black and blue by the operatives.

He added, “I have a video recording on my phone, which they tried to smash, but I didn’t allow them. I still do not understand what warranted the inhuman treatment meted out to me.”

Abiona said he reported the matter at the Agbara police division and was told to write a statement and get treatment at a hospital, adding that since then, nothing had been done about the matter.

When contacted, the Customs spokesperson in the state, Mr. Abdullahi Maiwada, requested the number plate of the vehicle, which our correspondent gave to him and was confirmed to be that of the Customs Service but not the state comptroller.

Maiwada said, “The number plate is not that of the Ogun State comptroller but I have sent it to the Customs at Seme and in Lagos to confirm. I cannot ascertain if the incident is true or not because it is not within my jurisdiction.”

In a separate reaction, the Ogun State Police Public Relations, Mr. Abimbola Oyeyemi, requested to speak with the victim and promised to investigate the matter.
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