Several persons were allegedly injured on Wednesday when men of the Ogun State Command of Nigeria Customs Service engaged in a shootout with smugglers of second hand imported vehicles, otherwise known as Tokunbo, in the Oju-Ore area of Ota in the Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State.
A source, who witnessed the confrontation, told journalists that the Customs officers were on the trail of the smugglers from Owode in Yewa South LGA and caught up with them at Oju-Ore.
The source said the smugglers had successfully driven in three expensive cars including a 2014 Range Rover but were intercepted at their base in Ota.
The smugglers, it was gathered, alighted from their vehicles in the densely populated Oju-Ore bus stop, where they attacked the Customs operatives with dangerous weapons, including guns, while the officers also responded with gunshots.
The gun duel, which reportedly lasted for about 45 minutes, left about five people injured. The injured persons were taken to the General Hospital in Ota for treatment.
It was also gathered that one of the vehicles conveying the Customs officers, hit a passer-by, who was rushed to the same hospital for attention.
The source explained that it took the intervention of the state combined security outfit called ‘OP Mesa’ and men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to douse the tension in the area.
However, the state Public Relations Officer of Customs, Usman Abdullahi, said he was not aware of the development but would get back after investigation. “I am not aware of that, but I will do my investigation and findings and whatever it is, I will get you posted,” he said yesterday via telephone.
By Pita Ochai