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Villagers kill customs officer at Seme border

Lately, tension had built up at the border area over  alleged killing of a villager by a customs official during an encounter with smugglers.
Daily Sun learnt that the deceased (names withheld) was driving towards the border for a meeting when he met his death. Daily Sun learnt that the officer was driving through Ashipa village at about 9 am on the fateful day when a village chief allegedly ordered hoodlums to attack him and set his vehicle ablaze.
Confirming the incident, spokesman of the Seme Area Command, Ernest Olottah, described the incident as a rude shock, noting that investigation into the matter had begun.
Bemoaning the tragedy, Olattah said: “With heavy and sorrowful heart, the Seme Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, announce the gruesome killing of one of our senior officers by some smugglers in the Ashipa area of Seme on Thursday 29th August, 2013 at about 09.50hrs.
The officer who was in  uniform and unarmed, was driving to the Command’s headquarters for a routine meeting. He was accosted by a mob who forced him out of his vehicle. Buoyed by an identified chief of the community, the officer was murdered in cold blood and his vehicle set ablaze”.
According to him, the command had stepped up its anti-smuggling activities, leading to constant seizure of contraband items and arrest of smugglers.
“It is worth noting that the intensification of our anti-smuggling operation which has led to 686 seizures since January 2013 has put  us in the danger of attacks like this from criminals who are being prevented from using the border for the anti-economy and other nefarious activities”.
“Our operatives, due to their uncompromising stance against smuggling and protection of the nation’s economy have come under series of attacks by smugglers and some unpatriotic elements who see smuggling as their right. In some cases, attempts made at disarming some of our operatives in the recent past were rebuffed”.
Olottah said the Customs Area Commander in Seme, Othman Abdu Saleh, working closely with other government agencies including the police, has commenced moves to bring the perpetrators of the heinous crime to book.
“The Comptroller posits that this unfortunate incident will not deter operatives of the command under his watch from carrying out their lawful duties. This is indeed a sad day for us here in this command, but let it me emphasise that we are not relenting in the discharge of our duties as we will not allow the darkness of criminality to dampen the light of our service to our great country, Nigeria. We, in collaboration with the police and other security agencies, hope to arrest and bring the perpetrators of this crime to book’’ he restated.
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