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Customs officer narrates how he was shot by rice smugglers in Oyo

Customs officer narrates how he was shot by rice smugglers in Oyo
March 01
16:43 2024

Amos Ekundayo, an assistant superintendent of customs, has narrated how he was shot in the head by a gang of rice smugglers.

Giving evidence as a witness before a federal high court in Ibadan on Friday, Ekundayo said Waliu Ayodeji and Lateef Odugbemi who are standing trial before E.K Akpan, presiding judge, were among the gang that attacked him.

Ayodeji and Odugbemi were apprehended on May 22  2023, in the Igbo-Ora area of Oyo state.

They had pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, unlawful importation of foreign rice and conspiracy.

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Narrating his ordeal, Ekundayo said: “I was one of the customs officers on patrol on May 22, 2023, when we were informed that a gang of smugglers were operating on the Ologbojo-Tapa road which is under Igbo-Ora area.”

“On getting there with the other members of the team, I attempted to address the members of the gang,” he added.

”However, they told me that the only person that could address them was Sunday Igboho.

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“Before I knew what was happening, they shot me in the head and my back.”

He showed the court the three different spots where the defendants allegedly shot him.

The witness also stated that he was taken to the Lago State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) where he spent eight days receiving medical care.

“During our investigation, we found out that the two defendants and others, now at large had smuggled 144 bags of parboiled rice from Cotonou, Benin Republic,” the customs officer said.

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In his testimony, Ganiu Salami, an informant to the Nigeria Customs Service, said he knew the two defendants as smugglers adding that he informed the service about the May 22, 2023 event.

“After the customs operatives accosted the gang of smugglers, the second defendant, Odugbemi pointed his gun and shot at Ekundayo,” Salami said.

He tendered the medical report issued by the hospital in respect of the shooting before the court as an exhibit.

However, A.A. Okelola and Adewale Ishola, lawyers to the defendants, prayed the court not to admit the medical report tendered by Salami on the ground that it was not a certified true copy.

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But the document was admitted as an exhibit after the prosecution counsel insisted that it was original.

The judge adjourned the matter until March 23 for continuation of trial.

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