A soldier, customs officer and a civilian were killed when some men of the Nigeria Customs ServiceNigeria Customs Service (NCS) clashed with some smugglers in Igbo-Ora town in Oyo State.
While the police confirmed the killing of the soldier, a customs spokesman said he was yet to be briefed of the development.
But our correspondent gathered from seperate accounts of witnesses that three persons died in the clash which occurred on Thursday.
Residents on Saturday said customs operatives and soldiers intercepted a vehicle transporting bags of foreign rice. The smugglers, desirous to escape, clashed with the officials.
Some resident, who asked not to be named, said three persons, a soldier, customs officer and a civilian were hit by bullets during the shooting.
Several persons also sustained injuries during the clash, PREMIUM TIMES gathered.
Since the end of the EndSARS protests, customs officials, soldiers and officials of the Nigerian Security and civil defence corps (NSCDC) officials had been collaborating to enforce the law in the area.
PREMIUM TIMES made efforts to confirm the number of casualties by reaching out to the police and customs.
The public relations officer of the NCS, Oyo/Osun command, Kayode Wey, said “he was aware of the incident”. He, however, did not give details.
He said he could not confirm if anyone died in the encounter.
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“Yes sir, I am aware. I have heard about the story from somebody, as well. I can’t give confirmation about anything.
“You heard it the way I heard it. Even, a journalist has called me about this incident. And they said the same thing.
“I also don’t know, I don’t have any information. I cannot say anything concerning that matter, because I don’t have any official statement on that,” he told PREMIUM TIMES on the phone.
Police confirm killing
Meanwhile, the Oyo State Police Command on Saturday, confirmed the death of a soldier during the clash.
Police spokesman, Olugbenga Fadeyi, said the police has commenced investigations into the clash.
Mr Fadeyi said an army lieutenant died as a result of gunshots injuries he sustained.
“Information received revealed that smugglers attacked Federal Operation Unit, FOU Customs, at Igboora.
“In a swift response to assist the FOU team, the Border Drill Patrol also came under attack and one lieutenant of the Nigerian Army was shot and later died,” he told PREMIUM TIMES.
“Investigation has commenced, pls.”