The Nigeria Bureau of Customs (NCS), Kwara Command, said three persons died during a mob attack on its Sector 3 checkpoint and operational base in the Ilesha-Baruba area.
Zakari Chado, the general public Relations Officer gave the small print during a statement on Saturday.
Chado said the trio were a part of the mob that stormed the checkpoint and attempted to overrun the bottom.
He noted that on January 8, at about 8 pm, Customs operatives while conducting stop and search at a checkpoint along Saki-Ilesha-Baruba axis, flagged down a Volkswagen Golf Vehicle
The driver of the red vehicle with license number BDG 453 BH refused to prevent. During the pursuit, the driving force abandoned the vehicle and fled the scene.
The vehicle was moved to the checkpoint for examination. On inspection, bags of foreign parboiled rice were found.
Chado recalled that within a brief period, the driving force mobilized an outsized mob of smugglers and errant youths armed with sticks, stones, and locally made weapons.
“They attacked the operatives and overran the checkpoint. The operatives pulled back with the seized vehicle. The mob then set the checkpoint and every one operational item and property ablaze,” he said.
The statement said after destroying the primary checkpoint at about 11 pm, the mob gathered more support from smugglers in other locations to destroy other operational checkpoints within the area.
Chado added that they proceeded on foot and in vehicles to the main Operational Base in Ilesha-Baruba, where arms and ammunition, vehicles, seizures, and other operational items were kept.
“The operatives mobilized to discourage the attack and protect the Operational Base. Therefore, the operatives had to fireside warning shots to discourage further attacks to overrun the bottom,” he said.
The spokesman stated that the deceased may have lost their lives when their vehicle somersaulted as operatives opened fire to prevent their plan to overrun more checkpoints.
The PRO said that things were brought in check at about 4 am, after reinforcements from Okuta, Alapa, Ilorin, and the Nigerian Army 244 Recce Battalion in Saki.
The corpses of the three casualties from the mob were taken by the DPO, under the escort of operatives, and deposited at Baptist Hospital Saki.
“At about 8 am on January 9, the operatives held a gathering with the Emir, traditional heads, security agencies, youth leaders, and other stakeholders. They decide to identify the perpetrators, prevent a recurrence, sensitize the populace and ensure law and order is maintained,” the statement read.
Coordinator of Joint Border Operations Drill sector 3, Comptroller Olugboyega Peters, called on parents, guardians, community leaders, religious leaders et al. to caution children, wards, and followers against violence