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Customs Killings: Senate Seeks Urgent Investigation, Compensation For Deceased’s Families

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The Senate on Tuesday resolved that the Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff and the Senate Committee on Police Affairs should work out appropriate compensation to families of the slain victims during the Customs shooting.

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According to the Nigerian Tribune Newspaper, the decision of the Senate was sequel to a motion by Buhari Abdulfatai who said the customs manifested long-held abuse of processes in her handling of the crossfire at Iseyin.

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Those noted to have lost their lives to the crossfire owing to unprofessionalism are Ibrahim Mojeed, Timothy Gbadegesin, Tobiloba Opeyemi, Abdullah Abdulazeez and a yet to be identified man.

The resolution reads: “Urge the Senate to mandate the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff and the Senate Committee on Police Affairs to jointly interface with the hierarchy of the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Customs Service towards ensuring that the incident is thoroughly investigated and any wrongdoers brought to book and organizing proper compensation to the families of the deceased and the injured.”

The motion sought an urgent investigation of the recent killing of civilians by men of the Nigeria Customs Service in Iseyin and breaking of shops in Ogbomosho and Ibadan and the need for professionalism in the Customs.

The Senate also urged ”the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff to interface with the top hierarchy of the Nigeria Customs Service towards the reorientation of members of the Service to restrain the use of firearms in the course of their official engagements in line with international best practices and also return all the money taken away.”

According to Abdulfatai, the right to life of the five killed was deprived of them by the Customs operation.

He pointed out that the right to life is a qualified constitutional right in Nigeria and provides that persons living in Nigeria shall have a right to life and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life unless in the execution of the sentence of a court of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty.

He disclosed that ”the Senate regret that custom officials have abused these privileges and turn themselves into something else by terrorising and harassing innocent citizens, breaking their shops in absentia and carting away money and rice in their shops.”

Senator Abdulfatai said that the sum of N1,200,000.00 million naira (Nl.2m) with 600 bags of rice were carted away in Ogbomoso as well as N4,000,000.00 million naira (N4m) with lorry loads of rice from shops in Ibadan on the 1st, 2nd and 6th of May.

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