Sokoto/Zamfara Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has denied that its officers are responsible for the accident which claimed “lives” on Sunday, January 2.
It was reported earlier that the accident which involved three commercial vehicles and claimed “four lives”, pushed the crowd which gathered into burning vehicles which belong to the command.
Public Relations Officer, Balarabe Yusuf in a statement released on behalf of the Area Controller, Abdulhameed Ma’aji, however mantained that one passenger died in the accident, while others, who sustained injuries, were taken to hospital for treatment.
The statement read;
“On January 2, 2022, officers of the Nigeria Customs Service, Sokoto/Zamfara Command Mobile Team ‘A’, based on credible intelligence about smuggled goods, mounted a stop-and-search operation at Asara village, along the Sokoto-Illela Road.
“Around 8am, a Toyota Avensis with tinted glasses believed to be conveying smuggled items was flagged down for a search, but the driver, upon sighting officers, tried to escape and in the process almost knocked down one of the officers, who quickly jumped out of his way.
“Unfortunately, the vehicle ran into an oncoming commercial vehicle, had a head-on collision that resulted in the death of one passenger, while others sustained injuries and were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
“However, some unscrupulous elements, who disguised as sympathisers, mobbed our officers at the point and in the process set one patrol vehicle and a private vehicle belonging to one of the officers ablaze.
“In order to contain the situation from further escalating, the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Abdulhameed Ma’aji, sent a reinforcement team, which succeeded in restoring law and order in the area.”