ABEOKUTA – A 15-year-old girl, Sekinat Agbelade, was over the weekend allegedly shot dead by men of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Agosasa, Ipokia Local area of Ogun State.
Vanguard reliably gathered that the Customs officers, while on the chase of some suspected smugglers, fired gunshots, hitting the innocent girl, who was returning from errands.
An eye witness told our Correspondent that Sekinat was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she eventually died.
It was gathered that two other men sustained gunshot injuries during the incident.
Sekinat, an SSS 3 student of Agosasa Community High School, was preparing for her West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) before her untimely death.
An eyewitness, who identified himself as Kazeem said the Customs officers were chasing a Toyota Camry which was allegedly driven by a suspected rice smuggler.
He added that the officers were able to arrest the smuggler and afterward started shooting indiscriminately to everyone at sight.
“Everything happened at about 1 pm on Saturday and aside Sekinat who died, two other people, 55-year-old Oluwole Oladosu and Saliu Babalola, was also injured by stray bullets.
“The incident happened in Agosasa area. The Customs were chasing a smuggler and the exact place is called Ita-Sango. They were able to intercept the smuggler with his smuggled goods and series of things happened and they started shooting indiscriminately. The surprising thing is that they started shooting sporadically at the people even after intercepting the smuggler”.
“It was in the process that this girl, 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.”
He added: “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 she died along the line”.
On his part, Deji Imoleayo Mawutin, said: “it was a rade by men of the NCS, Ogun command on alleged smugglers that turned to shoot at the sight which cut short the life of youthful Sekinat while leaving many seriously injured in Agosasa ward of the local government”.
“It was a black Saturday for us, the youths of the local government as we are observing the stay at home order as law-abiding citizens of the country only to hear of the unfortunate incident”.
“We totally frown at the way and manner the men attached to the NCS domiciled in our local government go about their activities with alleged smugglers. It would be recalled that such in recent times claimed the life of another young man Mr, Odushina Opeyemi at Ihunbo”.
“We call on the comptroller, Agbara O.M to fish out the perpetrators and ensured they face justice or await a rugged demonstration on our part as youths”.
“We can’t continue to live in fear because we are from border community”, he said.
Also speaking, the caretaker chairman of Ipokia local government, Hon. 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.
Abolurin said: “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.
The state Police Public Relations officer promised to revert as soon as he is briefed on the matter.
Confirming the incident, the Public Relations Officer of the Ogun 1 Command of the NCS, Abdullahi Maiwada, said he did not have details of what transpired during the incident, saying he would not be able to comment on it yet.
“I am aware of the incident. But I don’t have details of what transpired. So, I won’t be able to comment on it. I will get back to you when I get the details.”
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