Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
A day after officials of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), attached to the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, Ikeja, Lagos, shot dead a man at Abule-Egba, a pregnant woman, Olugunna Bukola, was yesterday shot by operatives of the service at Iyana Iyesi, Ota in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State.
Bukola, said to be eight months pregnant and a staff of IBEDC, Ota, was allegedly shot by the NCS operatives attached to the FOU Ikeja, around 7.45am on her way to office.
A resident of the area, who witnessed the incident, said the woman was hit by bullets on her back and the left side of her body, when the customs officials were in pursuit of rice smugglers in the area.
He said though the woman was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment, he could not ascertain whether the woman survived the gunshot wounds or not.
The source informed Daily Sun that the customs official was arrested by policemen attached to Obasanjo Farm Police Station and taken to Sango Police Station.
Spokesman of Customs FOU, Ikeja, Jerry Attah, said he was yet to confirm the incident.
Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ogun State Customs Area Command, Abdullahi Maiwada, confirmed the incident, but said the woman was only brushed by stray bullets. He said: “The officers were on the trail of a suspected smuggled vehicle and, in the process, they were mobbed by some unpatriotic members of the public.
The officers were left with no option than to shoot sporadically into the air, in the process, the said woman was brushed by a stray bullet.
The customs officers were in police station for safety to avoid mob attack not the insinuation that they were arrested by the police. We spoke with a relative of her husband and the doctor; they both confirmed that the woman is responding to treatment.”
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Ogun State Police Command, Abimbola Oyeyemi, also confirmed the incident.
According to him, the mob at the scene of the incident wanted to attack the customs officials but for the timely intervention of the policemen, who rescued the FOU operatives to the police station.
He stated that normalcy had since returned to the area, while the victim of the gunshots was responding to treatment.
Speaking with our correspondent on phone, brother in-law of the victim, Tosin Ologunna, said the woman had stabilised at the hospital, adding that the pregnancy was not affected.
He expressed disappointment at the way the incident was treated by the police, saying the matter must be taken to higher authority to ensure justice was done.