An officer of the Nigerian Customs Service was killed on Friday near Igboho by suspected smugglers while on patrol on Sinau-Kenu Road in Baruteen Local Government Area of Kwara
Customs spokesman in Kwara, Mr Chado Zakari, stated in Ilorin on Monday that the patrol team had earlier impounded 40 bags of smuggled rice and 30 jerry cans of petrol hidden in a nearby bush alongside Sinau-Kenu Road.
“The suspected smugglers laid ambush and shot sporadically at the patrol van conveying the smuggled goods to the government’s warehouse.
“In the exchange of fire that ensued, one officer succumbed to the cold hands of death, while three officers sustained life-threatening injuries and are currently responding to treatment.
*Attacked custom vehicles
“The deceased, an assistant superintendent, Mr Saheed Aweda has been buried according to Islamic rights in his home town, Popogbona in Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara.
“The Comptroller, Mr Olugboyega Peters, has visited the family of the deceased to commiserate with its members,’’ Zakari stated.
He added that Mr Peters had ordered full-scale investigation into the assault to fish out the culprits.
In another development, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has sanctioned a total of 31 officers and men of the Corps over various offences.
The disciplinary action was announced by NSCDC Commandant General (CG), Dr Ahmed Audi, in a statement signed by the corps’ spokesman, Olusola Odumosu, on Monday in Abuja.
Audi said that 15 of the officers were dismissed, seven suspended, nine placed on compulsory retirement while one was interdicted and another demoted.
He said that the disciplinary action was approved by the Civil Defence, Corrections, Fire and Immigration Board.
Audi explained that the officers were sanctioned for offences ranging from job racketeering, conspiracy, extortion, forgery, absence without leave, dishonesty and economic sabotage, among others.
Those dismissed included one Assistant Superintendent of Corps I, two Chief Corps Assistants, three Assistant Inspector of Corps (AIC), three Corps Assistants (CAIII), two CAII, one CAII, one Inspector of Corps and one AIC.
“The suspended officers include two Deputy Commandants of Corps, three Assistant Commandant of Corps, one Assistant Superintendent of Corps II and one CAII.
“The board also approved the interdiction of an Inspector of Corps (IC) and demotion of one IC,” he added.
The CG further said that the disciplinary action was part of measures to rid the service of bad eggs and ensure discipline.
He added that it was in line with his resolve to reposition and sanitise the corps against all forms of negative vices.
“The actions of the erring personnel made it imperative to invoke internal disciplinary mechanisms by setting up disciplinary committees.
“They carried out investigation and orderly room trial for various offences and spelt out recommendation of different sanctions to the board for approval,” he said.
The CG reiterated his determination not to allow errant officers portray the corps in a bad light under his leadership.
He said that the sanctions would serve as deterrent to others, as the corps will not condone any unethical conduct.
Audi called on all personnel to uphold the corps’ Standard Operating Procedure, Code of Ethics, discipline and adherence to Public Service Rules.
Audi however promised to reward officers and men who excel in their various assignments as a motivation for good conduct and dedication to service