Investigations are ongoing to arrest and prosecute the attackers
The Nigeria Customs Service has come forward to say it engaged rice smugglers on Friday in Igboora area of Ibarapa Local Government Area of Oyo State, Southwest Nigeria.
Reports that the community, which has been the epicentre of herdsmen invasion in Oyo State, had been attacked again by Fulani gunmen were rife on Friday.
But in a rebuttal, Customs claimed that no fewer than three of its officials and a soldier were allegedly injured when they faced off with the smugglers.
Customs Public Relations Officer, Theophilus Duniya, Federal Operations Unit Zone A, disclosed this in a statement issued on Saturday and made available to reporters in Ibadan.
The gunbattle happened around 8:00 p.m. on Friday, according to Mr Duniya,.
“The injured Customs Officers who are operatives of the Zone A, Federal Operations Unit, sighted eight trucks carrying smuggled foreign parboiled rice whose drivers and armed accompanying passengers launched an attack on the officers.
“One of the attackers was shot and disarmed while the others retreated with their smuggled wares.
“Investigations are ongoing to arrest and prosecute the attackers, all the attacked Customs Officers and soldiers, including one that was shot in the head, are receiving treatment,” Mr Daniya said.
He said that the Acting Controller of the Unit, DC Usman Yahaya, condemned the attack and reiterates the uncompromising resolve of the Service to suppress smuggling.
The Unit, according to the Acting Controller, will never relent or be intimidated by these unwarranted attacks by criminal elements unlawfully bearing arms and unleashing same on officers on legitimate duties.