Ogun monarch denies killing of Customs officers as villagers flee community
The Baale of Fagbohun village, Chief Simeon Fagbohun, has denied the killing of Customs officers, stating that it did not happen in his village and his people were innocent.
The monarch stated this after residents of Fagbohun village in the Yewa South Local Government Area of Ogun State fled their houses following the alleged invasion of the village by some men of the Nigeria Customs Service.
The Customs operatives were reported to be on a reprisal for the killing of two of their colleagues by suspected smugglers.
The operatives, during the attack, reportedly burnt houses and motorcycles and ransacked the palace of the village head.
Some residents were also said to have been whisked away after many houses were allegedly looted and destroyed.
WITHIN NIGERIA recalls that a Customs officer was killed and another was found dead days after clashing with suspected smugglers in Fagbohun village.
Fagbohun, who insisted that the killing did not happen in his community told journalists in Abeokuta, the state capital, said the killing occurred in Iya Sango village, which is about five kilometres away from his domain.
“This Iya Sango village is in Yewa land, but Fagbohun is a village these smugglers pass through; it is the biggest village in that axis, which has vulcanisers and schools.
“We saw that they (Customs) burnt the house of Adeoye Fagbohun, one of the sons of the Fagbohun family; he is my elder brother. They burnt his house with his three motorcycles. His vulcanising machine was also burnt inside the house.
“Iya Alate’s house was also burnt; we all saw it with the police. The house of Nathaniel was burnt with one motorcycle; we saw that the remaining houses like that of the Akao family in the village; they entered the house, brought out the motorcycles there and burnt them.
“I also saw that they went into my palace; they looted my palace, but they did not burn the motorcycles in front of my house. But I can’t find the two motorcycles in my house. Also, five pumping machines that farmers in the village bought for irrigation in the dry season, they removed them from the cartons and we can’t find them. The machines we used to spray herbicides and other chemicals on the farm, seven of them, have been taken; about 20 cartons of them are also missing, all my doors were forced open.”
The Public Relations Officer of the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, Ikeja, Lagos, Theophilus Duniya, denied the allegation.
Duniya said despite that the service lost two of its officers to the attack by the people in the area, the operatives did not take the law into their hands.
He said seven suspects were arrested with dane guns and machetes and had been put in custody as murder suspects.
“The arson or whatever form of destruction that was carried out in that village was done by mischief makers to tarnish the image of the service and our operatives. As I speak with you, one rifle is still missing,” he added.
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