Headline Local News

Reps seek compensation for victims of Customs abuse

The House of Representatives has demanded for compensation for all victims shot by officers of the Nigeria Customs service.

The House made the demand at an investigative hearing over the alleged killing of four people in Oyo state and ten in Katsina State by officers of the Nigeria Customs service.

According to the house, on the 16th of July 2021 four persons were allegedly killed and three were injured by men of the Nigeria Customs Service at Iseyin area of Oyo State.

Similarly, ten people were crushed to death and six others sustained injuries when a customs vehicle allegedly lost control and ran over them while chasing a rice smuggler in Jibia town in Katsina State.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr Leke Abejide, stressed the need for reforms to the operational guidelines of the Nigeria Customs Service for more professionalism and result.

Mr Abejide expressed concern over the incidences, saying all arms carrying paramilitary agencies must always be guided by the rules governing the handling of weapons on duty.

Counsel to the Iseyin community, Olugbenga Akinlabi said Families of victims of the shooting are demanding a compensation of N4.5 billion from the service for the dependants and injured.

Mr Akinlabi, stated that the victims are also demanding for the prosecution of the Officers involved in the incidents as well as a public apology from the service.

In the same vein, the member representing Jibya/Kaita federal constituency in the house, Alh Sada Soli, also demanded for full compensation for the families of the dead and injured in Jibia town.

According to him, the incident was caused by reckless driving on the part of the men of the service.

However, the Nigerian Customs Service, through a Deputy Comptroller General, DCG E. Edorhe, denied the claims saying that the incidence in Oyo State was as a result of the attempt by residents to obstruct its duty while Katsina incidence was a vehicular accident.

Reporting by Ibrahim Shehu; Editing by Mariam Benjamin