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How stray-bullet kill student during smugglers, border patrol team face-off in Lagos

By News Desk

A Senior Secondary School (SSS) three student, Alade Oba, has been reported to have died after been hit by a stray bullet shot during a face-off between a special security outfit, Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT), and suspected rice smugglers in Badagry Local Government, Lagos State.
It was learnt that the 18-year-old student of Kankon Secondary School, Badagry, died minutes after been hit by a bullet that was said to have been shot during the face-off that lasted for several minutes between the suspected smugglers and JBPT, a security outfit comprising personnel from Nigerian Customs, Army, and Immigrations, in Irosu axis of the council.
As gathered on Sunday, the JBPT personnel, acting on a tip-off, embarked on routine patrol across the communities in search of bags of foreign rice that were allegedly smuggled into the country through the illegal border routes within the axis.
Eyewitnesses claimed that the JBPT, established after the border closure two years ago, stormed the community in the early hours of yesterday and ransacked houses to ascertain if there were no bags of rice hidden within the community.
The Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) for Badagry West, David Aladeotan, said that the deceased was on his way from a coconut farm when he was hit by a stray bullet and died.
“Despite the fact that elders and leaders of the community assured the security operatives that there was no smuggled rice in the village, they continued searching, but they did not get anything”, he added.

Aladeotan further narrated that after several minutes of search, the JBPT personnel impounded some motorcycles found within the community which resulted in a confrontation between the officials and the motorcycle owners, who were demanding their unconditional release.

It was learnt that the motorcycles, which appeared to be owned by smugglers considering how they were remodelled, were picked by the operatives to identify suspected smugglers within the community.

The chairman continued: “The riders overpowered them and collected their motorcycles back, this made the JBPT reinforce, blocked the roads, restricting both human and vehicular movements. Consequently, they started shooting sporadically in the air. The bullets hit two persons immediately.
“One of the victims is an SS3 student of Kankon Senior Secondary School, who died on the spot, while the other hit on the leg is currently receiving treatment in hospital,” Aladeotan added.

The Guild gathered that efforts by residents to get the deceased student to a hospital proved abortive as he breathes his last few meters after been taken away from the spot where he fell to hospital.

Residents narrated that the community became more tensed after news filtered in that the student had died and that the security operatives have withheld his corpse.

Residents noted that actions of the security operatives further angered dozens of youths that went ahead to confront the operatives with a threat to retaliate and that they release the teenager’s corpse.

In order to quell the unrest that ensued after, the Commanding Officer of 243 Recce Battalion, Ibereko, Badagry, Col. Nicholas Rume, lead his men to the area and persuaded the dozens of youth to sheath their sword.
Following his intervention, the deceased corpse was later released to the family for burial while soldiers were deployed to maintain peace across the communities.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) for Nigerian Customs, Seme Command, Abdullahi Hussain, who confirmed the development, stated that the security operatives were attacked by suspected rice smugglers who were using bush paths within Irosu community to transport contraband items into the country.

Hussain, who said that normalcy had returned to the communities, noted that the actions of Irosu residents resulted in strategies adopted by the personnel during the border patrol team visit.

“The officials of JPBT blocked the bush paths and apprehended some motorcycles being used for smuggling rice. The smugglers went to mobilise about 150 people to attack the officials of JBPT, throwing stones and using other weapons.

 

“It was when they made an attempt to burn one of the Hilux buses by the team that the officials were forced to shoot into the air to scare them away. It was during the shooting that a stray bullet hit one of the ring leaders. The allegation that the guy was coming from the farm is a lie, he was among the smugglers and one of them,” he said.

 

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