Customs Kills 7, Injures 20 While Chasing Suspected Smugglers in Katsina
A Nigerian Customs Service patrol vehicle on Monday crushed seven persons to death, including a 13-year-old girl and injured 20 others in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State, ThisDay reports.
Residents of the border town said the incident occurred at about 10am along Jibia-Kauran Namuda highway, while the Customs officers in the partrol vehicle were pursuing a J5 Peugeot smugglers’ vehicle suspected to be conveying contraband.
THISDAY further gathered that the victims, mostly farmers, were standing by the roadside when the patrol vehicle suddenly veered off the highway and hit them. The scenario, according to residents of the town, generated tension amongst survivors.
An eyewitness, Usman Kabir, said: “The patrol vehicle and the smugglers’ vehicle were on top speed and they were just approaching Jibia town when the driver of the patrol vehicle veered off the highway and ran over the people.
“Six people died on the spot, one died while being rushed to the General Amadi Orthopedic Hospital Katsina, while the remaining 19 who sustained injuries are presently on admission at the same hospital.”
He explained that the smugglers escaped while an angry mob at the scene of the incident set ablaze the customs patrol vehicle before the arrival of security personnel who curtailed the chaos.
When contacted, the spokesman of the Katsina Area Command of the Nigerian Customs Service, Danbaba Isah, confirmed the incident, but said investigation is already ongoing to unravel the circumstances behind the incident.
He said: “Yes, the incident happened. It involved customs officers from the border drill patrol, but we will provide you with details because we are compiling report.”