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General News of Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Source: punchng.com

Four killed, mob set customs vehicles ablaze in Sokoto

Customs officials Customs officials

Four persons were killed and six others injured in an accident that involved three commercial vehicles along the Sokoto-Illela Road.

The fatal accident occurred on Sunday at a checkpoint mounted by personnel of the Nigeria Customs Service at Asara, along the Illela border command in Sokoto State.

Angered by the loss of lives, the mob set ablaze two vehicles belonging to the NCS, whose officials were accused of causing the crash.

An eyewitness, who narrated the incident to our correspondent, said a Toyota Avensis and a Golf saloon car collided while trying to evade the Customs officials, who were on a stop-and-search duty at the checkpoint.

One of the drivers involved, a source alleged, was conveying contraband goods that included rice and vegetable oil, and was trying to evade arrest. The source said, “One of the drivers suspected to be conveying rice and vegetable oil from the Illela end of the border, in an attempt to evade arrest, ran into a Customs checkpoint located at Asara village.

“The Customs personnel obstructed the driver in a bid to stop the vehicle for a search and that caused the driver to lose control. The car had a head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle and other cars coming from behind crashed into the two.

“Four persons were pronounced dead on the spot in two of the vehicles, while no fewer than six persons sustained varying degrees of injury in the crash.

“The injured persons were later taken to the Gwandabawa General Hospital for medical attention.”The development, according to the eyewitness, angered the nearby villagers, who set ablaze two vehicles belonging to the NCS.

“It took the intervention of the men of the Nigerian Army, who were drafted to the scene, to prevent further attacks against Customs facilities in the area,” the eyewitness added. 

An official of the Sokoto State Command of the NCS, who spoke to our correspondent, described the incident as unfortunate. 

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to speak to the press, added that two vehicles belonging to the Customs were burnt by the mob.

“The officials were only carrying out their legitimate duties by preventing the entrance of contraband into the country as stipulated by extant laws. It is unfortunate that the mob carried out an attack on them,” he stated.

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