No fewer than four persons were feared dead, while six others sustained gunshot wounds on Saturday in Ogun State as operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service and smugglers engaged in a shootout at Ilara, in Imeko-Afon Local Government Area.
It was gathered that the incident happened at the border town with the Republic of Benin at about 8.30am.
Sources said trouble began when suspected smugglers while moving bags of rice in a convoy to Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, were accosted by a joint anti-smuggling patrol team made up of the operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service and soldiers.
It was said that as the soldiers and the Customs officers attempted to impound the contraband goods, the smugglers put up a stiff resistance, which resulted in an exchange of fire, leaving about four people dead and six others with gunshot wounds.
The Public Relations Officer, Ogun State Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Abdullahi Maiwada, confirmed the incident, but, he could not give the exact number of casualties.
Maiwada, admitted there was an interdiction between the Customs and smugglers at the Ilara border town on Saturday.
He said, “I learnt there was an interdiction between our men (Customs) and smugglers in Ilara border town when the smugglers wanted to move bags of rice in their vehicles out of the town to their receivers.
“But I don’t have details of the incident but I will get back to you as soon as I am fully briefed.”
But he has yet to get back as of the time of filing this report.