Alleged Custom Killing In Iseyin: Families Demand N4.5 Billion Compensation


Alleged Custom Killing In Iseyin: Families Demand N4.5 Billion Compensation




Families of persons killed and brutalised by men of the Nigeria Customs Service in different parts of the country have demanded compensation from the border security outfit.

The agency was asked to pay N4.5bn as compensation for the four residents killed and one injured in Iseyin, Oyo State, on Sallah Day.

The House of Representatives’ Committee on Customs and Excise held its second investigative hearing in Abuja on Thursday, where the leadership of the NCS and families of the victims made claims and counterclaims over the killings.

The committee is investigating the incidents in Iseyin, Oyo State; Jibia, Katsina State; and Ibarapa, Oyo State.

Officers of the Federal Operations Unit of the NCS had allegedly killed five persons in Iseyin town on May 13, 2021, in an attempt to arrest smugglers and seize smuggled parboiled rice in two sports utility vehicles.

A lawyer, Olugbenga Akinlabi, who represented victims of the shootings while the Eid-el-Fitri Festival was ongoing in the community, demanded N4.5bn in his presentation before the committee.

He said, “According to the information we had, some men of the Nigeria Customs were chasing some smugglers from the border town into the community, and Iseyin, being a community that is populated, people were coming from the prayer ground and there were indiscriminate shootings into the air by men of the Nigeria Customs.

“They (families) are asking for the perpetrators of this heinous crime to be identified and brought to book. They are asking for an apology. In respect of the deceased, they are asking for compensation to the tune of N1bn for each family. And Muraina, who sustained gunshot injuries, is asking for N500m; N4.5bn for the dependents and the injured.”

Three persons spoke on behalf of Igangan, Igbo Ora, Ayete and Tapa in the Ibarapa area of Oyo State.

They were Shittu Ololade, Olusegun Okedeji and Sarafa Olaoniye.

They demanded N100m for Muritala Ajasa, and N95m for Hassan Sulikufuli, who were killed in the incident.

The sum of N80m each was also demanded for each of Sunday Oluwari and one Mr Zhulikifi, who were also killed.

Those who sustained injuries were Samod Olayode, Damilola Adeleke and Idris Lamidi, for whom N75m each was demanded.

The lawmakers also grilled the Customs officers over an accident involving a NCS vehicle that led to the death of 10 persons and injuries of 20 others in Jibia, Katsina State.

It was a heated session as the lawmakers and Customs officers disagreed over the Iseyin and Ibarapa incidents.

The lawmakers accused Customs of abuse of powers, as the officers said they had to defend themselves.

They denied that they killed anyone in Iseyin.

The Chairman of the Committee, Leke Abejide, said the hearing was not to witch-hunt anybody, but to see how the issues could be resolved amicably in the interest of all parties.

Representing the Customs were the Deputy Comptroller General (Investigations) E. I. Edorhe; Acting Comptroller, FOU, Zone A, H. K. Ejibunu; and Officer-in-Charge of the Iseyin base, Ali Biu, among others.

The lawmaker representing the Ibarapa community in the House, Muraina Ajibola, asked that the Customs officers directly involved in the shootings be brought before the panel.

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