Customs deny involvement in Katsina teenager’s death

The Nigeria Customs Service has denied involvement in the death of a teenager at the Jibia Border Area of Katsina State on Saturday.

The National Public Relations Officer of the service, Abdullahi Maiwada, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

He, however, extended the service’s heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased.

According to the residents, the boy was killed on Saturday in Jibia by a driver of a commercial vehicle who assumed that he was being chased by customs officers, a resident maintained that the driver of the van was jittery when he cited the officers.

The residents maintained that the driver of the J5 Peugeot van rammed into passersby around Tundun Wada Primary School, Jibia killing the boy in the process.

Although many residents who spoke under the condition of anonymity, claimed the accident was a result of the presence of customs operatives in the area.

However, reacting to this, Maiwada said it is important for the service to put the record straight on what happened.

“Our attention has been drawn to the devastating loss of a young life in the Jibia Border Area of Katsina State on Saturday, February 3, 2024. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of the innocent teenager whose life was tragically cut short,”

The NCS spokesperson said that no officer drove the ill-fated car on the said date.

“It is pertinent to address the misinformation circulating in the media regarding the reported killing of the teenager by a reckless driver of a J5 vehicle. The Federal Operations Unit Zone B, headquartered in Kaduna, covers 10 states plus the FCT, including Katsina, where the Jibia border is situated,” he said.

According to him, “We wish to clarify that our operatives neither drove the J5 vehicle nor intercepted it during the reported incident, contrary to some press allegations of the involvement of our officers. Preliminary reports revealed that the J5 vehicle was transporting soya beans, and the driver is currently in police custody pending further investigation,”

In the statement, the Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, reiterated his unwavering commitment to fostering harmonious community relations and conducting anti-smuggling operations without casualties.

Adeniyi also urges members of the public to adhere to government directives and cooperate with law enforcement agencies to maintain peace and security in the country.

“In this moment of grief and loss, we appeal for calmness from all stakeholders. We deeply appreciate the ongoing cooperation extended by the border communities as we work together to address challenges and promote safety and prosperity for all,” Adeniyi concluded.


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