The Coordinator of Joint Border Operations Drill sector 3, Comptroller Olugboyega Peters, has called on parents, guardians, community leaders, religious leaders and opinion-molders in the area, to caution their wards against violence as the sector execute its mandate to rid the nation of smuggling activities.
He also assured that the sector would do everything humanly possible, within the ambit of the law, to protect government property and ensure that peace prevailed at all cost.
The Nigeria Customs Service, Kwara Command, Public Relations Officer, Zakari Chado, stated this in a statement issued on Saturday in Ilorin, after a mob attack on its sector 3 check point and operational base in Ilesha-Baruba area of the state, left three persons dead and some others injured.
Chado said information received from the Sector 3 team leader in Ilesha-Baruba indicated that the three persons were part of the mob that attacked the check point and attempted to overrun the base.
The attack according to him started after men of the sector pursued and successfully apprehended a Volkswagen Golf Vehicle which had earlier refused to stop when flagged down at a checkpoint along Saki – Ilesha Baruba axis.
The driver, who abandoned the vehicle filled with smuggled bags of foreign parboiled rice and fled the scene, mobilised a large mob of organised smugglers and errant youths, armed with locally made weapons.
The mob attacked the operatives, overran the checkpoint, set it ablaze and injured a policeman in the process.
A further attempt to overrun the major Operational Base in Ilesha-Baruba, where arms and ammunition, vehicles, seizures and other operational items were kept, was however met with stiff resistance from the operatives in the process of which the victim’s car somersaulted, leading to the death of the victims.
The PRO said that the situation was eventually brought under control at about 4 am, while the Emir has held a meeting with all stakeholders where he appealed for restraint.
See Full Statement Below:
ATTACK OF SECTOR 3 CHECK POINTS AND OPERATIONAL BASE AT ILESHA BARUBA, BARUTEN LGA OF KWARA STATE, BY A MOB OF ORGANISED SMUGGLERS AND ERRANT YOUTHS
On 8 January 2021 at about 800hrs, Sector 3 security operatives at Ilesha Baruba while conducting stop and search at a checkpoint along Saki – Ilesha Baruba axis, flagged down a Volkswagen Golf Vehicle (Red Colour with Registration No BDG 453 BH). However, the driver refused to stop hence the operatives pursued the vehicle which was successfully apprehended and moved back to the checkpoint for examination, wherein Bags of foreign parboiled Rice were found loaded in the vehicle. During the pursuit, the driver abandoned the vehicle and fled the scene.
After a short period, the driver mobilized a large mob of organised smugglers and errant youths armed with sticks, stones and locally made weapons attacked the operatives and overran the checkpoint. The operatives pulled back from the checkpoint with the seized Volkswagen Golf vehicle. The mob then set the checkpoint and all operational items and properties of the operatives at the checkpoint ablaze.
During the attack, a personnel of the NPF sustained degree of injuries and was evacuated for medical attention. However, reports indicate that the Officer is now in stable condition. The Team Leaders in Ilesha Baruba immediately notified the Emir of Ilesha Baruba, the DPO and other resident operatives who attempted to contain the mob all to no avail. Reports indicate that the mob attempted to lynch the Emir, who had to be evacuated from the scene.
After destroying the first checkpoint, the mob at about 2300 hours gathered more support in large numbers mostly from organised smugglers from other locations and mobilized to attack and destroy other operational checkpoints in the area. A section of the mob also proceeded on foot and in vehicles to the major Operational Base in Ilesha Baruba where arms and ammunition, vehicles, seizures and other operational items are kept.
On this note, the operatives mobilized to deter the attack and protect the Operational Base. Therefore, the operatives had to fire warning shots to deter further attacks to overrun the base. At the time of the incident, information received from the Sector 3 Team Leaders on the ground at Ilesha Baruba indicate that 3 persons from the mob were killed during the attack, reportedly when their vehicle somersaulted when fired upon as they attempted to overrun the checkpoint.
The Sector HQ also immediately mobilized 4 X reinforcement teams from Okuta, Alapa, Ilorin and Nigerian Army 244 Recce Battalion in Saki to ensure that the Operational Base is held and operatives are protected. The situation was eventually brought under control at about 0400 hours as a result of the reinforcement teams and subsequent show of force. The corpses of the 3 casualties from the mob were taken by the DPO under escort of own operatives and deposited at Baptist Hospital Saki in line with directives from the resident NPF Area Commander.
At about 0800 hours on 9 January 2021, the operatives held a meeting with the Emir, traditional heads, resident security agencies, Youth leaders and other stakeholders to work out modalities to identify the perpetrators, prevent recurrence, sensitize the populace and ensure that law and order is maintained and normalcy restored.
The Emir also appealed to the operatives and all other stakeholders to exercise restraint while he called for calm by the populace for an amicable work environment to foster.
To this end, the coordinator Joint Border Operations Drill sector 3 Compt. Olugboyega Peters hereby seized this opportunity to call on parents, guardians, community leaders, Religious leaders and opinion-molders to caution their wards on the dangers of towing the path of extreme illegality and anarchy. The Sector will do everything humanly possible within the ambit of the law to protect government properties and ensure that peace prevail against all odds. It is important to reiterate that operatives are only implementers of Federal Government Policies in the overall interest of national growth and development.
Finally, the hostility by hoodlums and their accomplices will never be a distraction in discharging our statutory responsibilities.
Public Relations Officer
For: Coordinator Joint Border Operations Drill
Sector 3, Ilorin Kwara State
9th January, 2021