Friday, 9 August 2013

Customs Officer Shot Dead Driver, Injured Two Others


Customs Officer Shot Dead Driver, Injured Two OthersAn aggressive and irresponsible customs officer killed a driver at Seme border area of Lagos and injured two others in a shooting incident on August 6, 2013.
The victim, identified as Friday Poku, was shot dead in his red Volkswagen Jetta vehicle, plate number d GGE 81 AH along other occupants of the vehicle.
The tragedy is a repeat of a similar killing, in which a middle aged man was killed in the area around three months ago.
The incident caused mass protests, as angry youths put up a fire on the road, making vehicle’s access to the border impossible.
Many custom officers fled for fear of being attacked by the angry youths.
An eye witness, who did not want his name mentioned, said: Poku was flagged down by the customs officers at a check point at Gbetrome area of the border.
“Though no one knew what transpired between the deceased and the customs officers, everyone was shocked when one of the officers pulled out a pistol and fired the victim twice at close range.
“The victim, who had earlier alighted from the vehicle, slumped and died on the spot, while his friends, who attempted to apprehend the trigger-happy officer were injured as his colleagues fired at them.
“Nobody knew what transpired between the victims and the custom officers. All we saw was that one of the officers pulled out his pistol and fired twice at the deceased.
“The team fled the area when they saw the victim had slumped in a pool of his blood. They ran away in different directions and abandoned the victim by the roadside.”
The angry youths, however, headed toward the customs barracks not too far from the border post.
They barricaded the major road and chanted war songs. It took the prompt intervention of the police to return normalcy to the area.
The body of the deceased was taken away by the protesting youths, demanding that the killer customs officer should be handed over to them for peace to reign.
Vowing to stop what they described as an unprovoked attack on villagers by customs officers, the protesters shattered the glasses of a police patrol van.
A youth leader, who identified himself as Dosu, said they would prevent attempts to sweep the killing under the carpet.
He said: “Enough is enough of this wanton killing. We want the controller to hand over the killer to the police to investigate the matter.
“Why is it that the officers involved in the incident have not gone to make statement at the station since the matter is homicide?
“Why is it that the vehicle belonging to the deceased was taken away by customs and not the police? This is to afford the customs the opportunity to conceal vital evidence that might unravel the situation that led to the death.”
According to the police report, Friday Poku was killed by some customs men at Gbetrome area of Seme.
The police also stated that the panel has been set up to perform the investigations of this case. The previous official version of the police denied killing, and stated that the investigation of an attempt to disarm some customs officers by smugglers would be made. 

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