A bus conductor, identified as Toheeb Olayiwola, was shot dead in Abule-Egba area of Lagos on Wednesday, allegedly by customs men chasing a bus loaded with smuggled bags of rice.
An eyewitness, Ahmed Ogundairo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the victim was in the bus with registration number LND685XJ coming from Sango and headed toward Lagos.
Ogundairo said that Nigerian Customs officers accosted the bus at Abule Egba and started shooting sporadically which resulted to the victim’s death.
“The commercial bus, which was loaded with bags of rice, was en-route Mushin from Sango when the Customs stopped the bus and started shooting.
“My friend was inside the bus to assist in offloading the rice but he was shot dead when he tried to escape from the scene.
“The bus was hired to deliver the rice to Mushin,’’ he said.
Another eyewitness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told NAN that the victim was not a smuggler but a transporter with a commercial bus.
A policeman from Oke-Odo Division, who was at the scene of the accident, said that no official statement could be made until the arrival of the Divisional Police Officer.
He said that the incident occurred at about 6.30 a.m.
There was no Customs official at the scene to give an account of the incident, NAN reports, but officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) were seen controlling traffic.
Angry youths who protested the killing set fire under the bridge while the corpse of the victim was at the scene at 7.30 a.m. when NAN left the area.
The Customs Public Relations Officer, Federal Operations, Ikeja, Mr Jerry Attah, said that the unit received a report of the incident from its patrol team.
Attah said that the team trailed a vehicle loaded with smuggled rice to Abule-Egba, a suburb of Lagos.
Customs men, he said, were mobbed by the suspected smugglers who prevented the officers from carrying out their duties.