By Stephen Ubanna
Ever since the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence,NSCD, intercepted 150,000 Jerry cans of 25 litres each from a Creek in Badagry axis , known in Maritime circles a point of no return last May which were evacuated and transferred to the Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone A, premises, by Jack Okpabi, a Chief Superintendent of Customs in-charge of the Command Gbaji checkpoint, petrol smugglers in the area appear to have devised ways of continuing in the illegal business.
They were said to have developed new secret locations to stockpile their Jerry cans of Petrol of 25 litres each for smuggling into the neighbouring West African country of Benin . They got it wrong. This is Shedi Wada, acting Comptroller, Seme Command , who had a running battle with the petrol smugglers when he was in-charge of the Owode- Out-station and his men were not ready to give any chance to them operate within the Seme Jurisdiction.
Acting on information, the Command Joint Patrol Team last Friday, had gone out operation along Seme- Carpenter village within the Seme axisis . The Team were said to have discovered a hideout that was used by the unrepentant petrol smugglers to stockpile their Jerry cans of 25 litres of petrol for onward smuggling into Benin through illegal routes.
Eyewitness account told The Value News that trouble started when the Wada boys made effort to evacuate the Jerry cans of petrol to the Government warehouse at Seme, as the criminal elements were said to have launched a vicious attack and aggressively advanced towards the scene of the seizure with cutlases and other dangerous weapons ostensibly to set the place ablaze which could lead to loss of lives and property worth millions of naira in the area.
Aware of the volatility of the seized items , the officers were said to have taken all the necessary precaution to halt the advancing movement of the smugglers and their hired mod towards the scene of the seizure.
Hussain Abdullahi, an Assistant Superintendent of Customs and the Command Spokesperson, disclosed that the officers were forced to use their firearms to defend themselves rather than allow the mob who were armed with dangerous weapons to frustrate them from evacuating the seized Jerry cans of petrol of 25 litres each. They were said to have shut into the air to disperse the crowd but a stray bullet went and hit at two innocent kids at the scene of the seizure.
Abdullahi, the Command , Spokesperson, gave the names of the two wounded teenegers as Adomeh Henry and Unsu Taiwo. They were said to be between the ages of 10 and 12. TWada, the Seme Customs Comptroller was said to have ordered that the two victims hit with the stray bullet be taken to the Command Clinic at the Border Community for proper medical attention.
It was not surprising why they were quickly rushed to the customs clinic at the Border where the Doctors started immediate treatment. When it became clear that condition were stable and that there was no damage to any part of their body system, the clinic doctor, ordered that that they should be discharged the next day.
In spite of the fact that there was no physical damage to their body system, Wada, who was said to have broken down because of the pressure of work has continued to maintain close touch with the family member of the two kids to know how they are feeling on a daily basis.
The Customs Comptroller was said to have sent a message to the petrol smugglers and their sponsors both within the Seme Jurisdicion that the renewed hostility ‘’will never be a distraction to their determination in carrying out their statutory responsibilities’’. He stopped short at saying that the smugglers will continue to meet their ‘’waterloo with no breathing space’’.