Two horrific videos, showing same incidents, in different manners, yesterday went viral on the social media.
The first video registered the background voice of a traumatised woman, screaming: “Customs has killed a person because of N5,000. We’re just returning from abroad, when Customs killed person. Jesus! Jesus! Just because of N5, 000. We didn’t carry any exhibit, no exhibit and this Customs officer just shot him.”
The traumatised woman, pointing at the Customs officer that allegedly pulled the trigger, shouted: “You will die! You will die! That gun, which you use to kill him, will kill you.”
While she continued to cry and scream, the video clip showed a group of angry people, grabbing a Customs officer. The officer was inside a car, sitting at the driver’ seat, his uniform was stained with blood and he appeared to be struggling with one of the men over possession of the car keys.
It appeared like he wanted to flee the scene, but the men wouldn’t allow him. His head and collar of his uniform were stained with blood. The video finally captured the corpse of a man wearing black trousers and a white top. While the video was capturing the body, angry background voices could be heard asking one of the Customs officers, “Why did you shoot?”
The video also showed the ground flowing with blood.
The clip further caught another Customs officer, sitting on the ground, being slapped from different directions by angry people. The Customs officer is said to be the shooter, who earlier wanted to escape in the car.
The second scene video captured when the incident just happened. One of the Customs officers was trying to use his hand to stop a man from recording him. But the cameraman relentlessly followed him, shouting, “I’m a citizen of this country.”
While the people were screaming at the Customs officers for reasons unknown, a gunshot was heard. The voice of the man handling the camera shouted: “Customs don kill person. Don’t let them go! Customs have killed somebody. Don’t allow them to go. Nobody is going anywhere.”
The shout was followed by the screams of a woman in shock. A body was sighted on the ground; the bullet got the deceased on the head, killing him instantly. Blood streamed from his head, turning the patched ground crimson.
The Customs officer, after shooting, went to check if the victim was still alive; he raised the victim’s hands repeatedly, but it fell back lifelessly.
The cameraman grabbed a stick from the Customs officers’ van and hit it on the head of one of the Custom officers. The video stopped rolling when someone shouted, “Do you people want to kill another person?”
The incident was said to have occurred yesterday morning. The two videos had been shared several times, eliciting outrage.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the service, DC Joseph Attah, reacted to the incident on behalf of the Comptroller-General of Customs.
He said: “The attention of Nigeria Customs Service has been drawn to a disturbing video going viral with conflicting narratives. While it is painful and totally unnecessary to lose life in anti-smuggling operations, today (yesterday) at Shagamu interchange along Ijebu-Ode, attempt to obstruct lawful performance of duty by passengers of a commercial bus (a white Toyota Hiace) suspected to be carrying bales of used clothing led to the death of a young man (Godwin) and serious injury of a Customs Officer, ASC1, Destiny Onebamho.
“Contrary to some narratives, the young man was not a passenger of the bus but a good citizen who always come to fetch water for Customs Patrol men anytime they return to the base. Preliminary finding indicate that it was during the skirmishes and struggle to disarm the officer that the rifle discharged and hit the friend of the Customs (Godwin) who lost his life.
“The service is already in touch with the bereaved family. Sadly, it should be noted that while attention shifted to the dead and the wounded, the passengers who filmed with inciting commentaries boarded their vehicle and left, leaving the wrong impression that it was one of them that was killed.
“While the wounded officer is under intensive care at the hospital, the patrol team has been recalled to the office for further investigation.”