The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has detained four of its men in connection with the “accidental discharge” incident of last Sunday which claimed the life of one Godwin Onoja.
The incident, which happened at the Sagamu inter change on the Lagos-Benin expressway, involved some operative of the (NCS) Federal Operations Unit, (FOU) A while on anti-smuggling patrol.
The National Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Joseph Attah in a statement made available to The Nation, Tuesday, said the Comptroller General of the service, Hameed Ali (rtd) had set up a panel led by the Zonal Coordinator A, to investigate the killing, assuring that any officer caught on the wrong side will be death with accordingly.
It will be recalled that bullets from the riffle of a Customs officer, ASCI Destiny Onebamho, hit and killed Onoja, described as a friend of the Customs, during a heated argument that ensued while the FOU Zone A operatives where trying to apprehend a passenger bus loaded with bales of used clothings.
“Following the unfortunate incident on Sunday 17th February 2019 at Sagamu Interchange involving Operatives of the Federal Operations Unit Zone A, which led to the death of a fellow citizen, Mr. Godwin Agada Onoja, the Nigeria Customs Service has continued to maintain close contact with the bereaved family.
“We are pained by this sad development and share the grief of losing a fellow compatriot in a seemingly avoidable circumstance. We are and will continue to take every necessary step that will cushion the pain associated with losing a dear one.”
“Consequently, the Comptroller-General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) has directed a thorough investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the incident with the view to ensuring that justice is served.”
Attach assured that the outcome of the panel would be made public for all Nigerians, adding that the officers whose rifle discharged would also face the panel as soon as he’s fit.
“In line with this directive, the investigation panel headed by the Zonal Coordinator Zone A, ACG Kaycee Ekekezie has interrogated and detained four members of the patrol team.
“The panel could not immediately conclude the investigation because the actual officer (ASCI Destiny Onebamho) whose riffle discharged is presently receiving medical attention as a result of attack following the unfortunate incident. He will face the panel as soon as he is fit to do so, to enable the panel conclude investigation and recommend appropriate action(s).
NCS is a reputable organization known for integrity and responsibility. In line with our corporate values, we will not shield any operative found wanting in this ongoing investigation. The Service appreciates the public concern and strong emotions drawn from the viral video with narratives that created various opinions.”
“Nigerians will recall that in 2017, the Service made public its investigation and dismissal of five (5) officers implicated in the illegal release of the 661-pump action riffles from Apapa Port. The dismissed officers were immediately handed over for prosecution alongside the importer and agent. A prosecution that is ongoing at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi Lagos.”
He further assured that the investigation would comprise the weapon handling skills and actions that must be taken by the Service to possibly prevent future occurrence.
“In the same vein, the ongoing investigation will be holistic including looking at the weapon handling skills and actions that must be taken by the Service to possibly prevent future occurrence. We will continue to update the public details of every action taken in the handling of this unfortunate incident.”
– The NATION
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