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Travellers stranded, drivers flee into forest as customs, smugglers clash in Ogun

Scores of travellers were stranded and drivers reportedly abandoned their vehicles and fled into the forest during a clash between officials of the Nigeria Customs Service and some suspected smuggler on the Abeokuta-Siun-Sagamu Expressway, Ogun State.

According to PUNCH, a source who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the customs officials attached to the NCS Federal Operating Unit Zone ‘A’ Lagos, were on the trail of the suspected smugglers trafficking foreign parboiled rice.

The operatives reportedly seized some of the smugglers’ cars loaded with bags of rice. The action, which prompted the smugglers to mobilise themselves leading to a gun duel between them and the customs men.

It was gathered that the gun duel forced the motorists on both sides of the expressway to park their vehicles and waited for over two hours until a contingent of security agencies comprising the army, police and Amotekun came around to disperse the smugglers.

The smugglers were said to have parked at Kobape junction, along the Abeokuta-Sagamu highway, to resist the officers on their trail.

A victim said some of the smugglers pelted the law enforcement agents with stones, while a few of them wielded cutlasses.

The victim added that to repel the smugglers, the customs officers fired gunshots, thereby throwing residents of the area and commuters into confusion.

Travellers on the highway were stranded as they took cover in the Kobape community. A number of drivers reportedly abandoned their vehicles and fled into the forest.

For hours, residents of the Egba community were in fear, running helter-skelter over the violence.

The Public Relations Officer of Customs at FOU, Theophilus Duniya, who confirmed the clash, however, said he had not been fully briefed on the incident.

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