A video has surfaced online showing an officer of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) shooting an unarmed man, now simply identified by NCS as Godwin.
The incident was said to have occurred along the Sagamu Interchange in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
From the video, it didn’t seem like there was a physical struggle, although tempers were flayed, before the officer simply cocked his gun and fired.
The person who recorded the video was also threatened but he stood his ground, insisting that the officer had no right to confiscate his phone.
A lady who seemed like an ally of the deceased was heard lamenting that they had just returned from outside the country, and the man was shot because they refused to part with N5,000.
However, the NCS has taken a contrary position to what happened in the video, stating that the person who shot the gun is a friend of the NCS.
According to the statement by DC Joseph Attah, Public Relations Officer of the Comptroller-General of Customs, issued on Sunday, there were attempts to interfere in the NCS’ interception of a bus conveying passengers which contained smuggled bales of used clothing into the country, and that led to the death of the man, as well as injuries sustained by a Customs officer.
The statement read: “The attention of Nigeria Customs Service has been drawn to a disturbing video going viral with conflicting narratives.
“While it is painful and totally unnecessary to lose life in anti-smuggling operations, today at Shagamu interchange along Ijebu Ode, attempt to obstruct lawful performance of duty by passengers of a commercial bus (a white Toyota Hiace) suspected to be carrying bales of used clothing led to the death of a young man (Godwin) and serious injury of a Customs Officer, ASC1, Destiny Onebamho.
“Contrary to some narratives, the young man was not a passenger of the bus but a good citizen who always come to fetch water for Customs Patrol men anytime they return to the base.
“Preliminary findings indicate that it was during the skirmishes and struggle to disarm the Officer that the rifle discharged and hit the friend of the Customs (Godwin) who lost his life. The Service is already in touch with the bereaved family.
“Sadly, it should be noted that while attention shifted to the dead and the wounded, the passengers who filmed with inciting commentaries boarded their vehicle and left, leaving the wrong impression that it was one of them that was killed.
“While the wounded officer is under intensive care at the hospital, the patrol team has been recalled to the office for further investigation.”