The Nigeria Customs Service says its patrol team from the Federal Operations Unit Zone A, Lagos, was attacked by smugglers on Saturday afternoon, during an operation along Shagamu Interchange in Ogun State.

The Acting Controller of the Unit, Hussein Ejibunu disclosed this in a statement signed by Mr Theophilus Duniya, Public Relations Officer of the Federal Operations Unit, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

Ejibunu noted that the patrol team had intercepted 12 vehicles of different kinds, laden with bags of foreign parboiled rice.

He said that the customs men were on their way to the government warehouse before smugglers mobilised themselves with the support of others and attacked the team with dangerous weapons.

“During the exchange of gunfire, two of the attackers lost their lives and one suspect was arrested. Out of 12 vehicles in the convoy of the smugglers, our operatives were able to leave with four of them laden with smuggled foreign parboiled rice. The arrested suspect and the seizure have been brought to the Unit Headquarters, Ikeja,” he said.

Ejibunu frowned at the avoidable loss of lives due to the unprovoked attack and ordered a full-scale investigation into the matter to apprehend the other fleeing suspects with their smuggled wares.

He cautioned members of the public to eschew violent confrontations with government operatives and be law-abiding at all times.

“Such violent attacks will never deter or threaten customs operatives from carrying out their legitimate duties,” he said.

Ejibunu further stated that two operatives of customs wounded in the attack were receiving treatment in a medical facility.

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