The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said that five suspected smugglers who attacked its officers in Ikpokia Local Government Area of Ogun State have been arrested.
According to the Customs, one of the officers identified as Assistant Superintendent Chidi Johnson sustained severe injuries in the ambush laid by the suspected smugglers last Friday.
According to the Public Relations Officer of Ogun 1 Command of the NCS, Abdullahi Maiwada, Johnson was among a team of Customs men from Ogun 1 Command said to have been sent to evacuate about 35 50kg bags of rice that smugglers brought into the country.
He further stated that the Customs men had embarked on the operation at about 7.30pm on Friday based on an intelligence report that suspected smugglers were stockpiling smuggled rice in a house at Ilashe village in Ipokia Local Government Area.
According to Maiwada, the smugglers mobilised themselves in large numbers and launched “a vicious attack, with assorted weapons, on the officers performing their lawful duties”, macheting Johnson and giving him deep cuts in various parts of his body.
“The seriously wounded officer was immediately rushed to the hospital and, luckily, he is responding to treatment.
“Five suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident and are currently undergoing interrogation.
“It is instructive to note that, that Friday was a date set aside for total lockdown in Ogun State due to the surge of the COVID-19 cases. We find it unfortunate and strange that the daredevil smugglers, who have no regards for the laws of the land or the disease ravaging the global community, resorted to crossing the border through illegal routes to perpetrate such nefarious activities in total disregard for the health and economic well-being of Nigerians,” Maiwada said.