By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Two teenagers, aged 10 and 12 years have reportedly sustained gun shot injuries during gun battle between some operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and suspected smugglers in Lagos.
Report says the operatives attached to the Seme Command were repelling some unscrupulous elements who launched a vicious attack on them at beach side of Capenter Village in Seme area when the incident occurred.
As learnt, the customs operatives were at the village, identified as a hideout used by some unpatriotic elements to stockpile petroleum motor spirit (PMS) for unward smuggling to neighbouring Benin Republic.
Our correspondent reliably gathered that the victims identified as Adomeh Henry, 10 and Hunsu Taiwo, 12, all male were injured by stray bullets at back and ankle respectively.
It was further learnt that they were rushed to Customs Clinic for proper medical intervention for prompt treatment and later discharged strictly based on medical advice, having recorded no vital injuries.
The Command’s public relations officer Hussaini Abdullahi confirmed the incident in a release on behalf of the Acting Area Controller C.D Wada.
He stated that the operatives, in a joint patrol team stormed the area based on credible intelligence.
The release reads, ” On Friday, 3rd July, 2020 at about 17:00 hours, a joint patrol team of Seme Area Command based on credible intelligence went on an operation along Seme Carpenter Village and identified a hideout used by some unpatriotic elements to stockpile petroleum motor spirit (PMS) for unward smuggling to neighbouring Benin Republic.
In an effort to evacuate the said item from the scene, some unscrupulous elements launched a vicious attack and aggressively advanced towards the scene of the seizure with assorted dangerous weapons with a desirous effort to set the place ablaze.
Considering the volatility of the seized items involved and the fact that all efforts short of using force to halt the mob from advancing towards the scene proved abortive, Officers were left with no option than to use their firearms in order to defend themselves and avoid the envisaged catastrophe.
However, verifiable information later recieved indicated that two innocent young males were injured by stray bullets at back and ankle respectively (One Adomeh Henry (m) 10yrs and Hunsu Taiwo (m) 12yrs).
In veiw of the above development and the utmost priority by the Command to always protect and respect the sanctity of human lives/safety in every operation, the injured fellows were immediately rushed to Customs Clinic for proper medical intervention and fortunately the result came out with no major damages. This gave room for prompt treatment of the patients at Customs facility and were consequently discharged strictly based on medical advice.
On this note, the Command wish to register its unreserved displeasure with this unfortunate incident. As a responsible and responsive Service, we are working round the clock to partner with the family by providing all the necessary support to cushion the effect of this tragedy.
Finally, the renewed hostility by smugglers and their accomplices will never be a distraction in discharging our statutory responsibilities. On the other hand daredevil smugglers will continue to meet their waterloo with no breathing space in Seme Area Command”.