Two officers of the Nigeria Customs Service attached to Kwara/Niger/Kogi area Command were reportedly attacked during a clash with suspected rice smugglers on Tuesday in Ilorin, Kwara State.
The Nigerian Tribune gathered that the customs officers had impounded four buses loaded with imported rice along Ilorin/Offa/Kabba road in the early hours of Tuesday.
The clash with the suspected smugglers reportedly occurred at Offa Garage area of the Ilorin metropolis at about 10 am when the Customs men were trying to convey the four buses loaded with imported rice to their office.
Sources told our correspondent that the Customs men were conveying the four buses loaded with rice to their office in Ilorin when some hoodlums allegedly recruited by the smugglers, who were the rice owners, attacked them.
The two officials injured were the drivers who were driving two of the buses to the Customs office in Ilorin, one of the sources said.
“The Customs officers were conveying three of the buses which they seized with rice to their office when some people attacked them at Idi-Igba, Offa Garage area, started to beat them and dragged them out of the vehicle.
“Although, the four buses were being escorted by the Custom patrol van, the one that followed the patrol van had passed and branched to Asa dam road while the three buses that followed about 10 minutes later were the one attacked and driven off by the smugglers,” he said.
Speaking on the development, the Public Relations Officer of the Customs in Kwara state, Mrs. Stella Okpo, confirmed the attack on the Customs men, saying that the two officers were seriously injured during the attack.
Okpo said that the injured officers had been taken to hospital for treatment while one of the buses had been impounded and parked at the Ilorin office of the Customs.
She said that no arrest had been made on the incident.