OGUN, Nigeria – The State judicial panel set up to receive and investigate cases of brutality and extrajudicial killings by security operatives in the State has said the panel is not for matters involving officers of the Nigeria Police Force only.
The panel, therefore, asked all individuals with cases of killings, brutality and rights violations involving men of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to submit their petitions.
OgeneAfrican gathered that there have been cases of customs killings and brutality in Ogun State from time immemorial.
Residents of border communities like Ipokia, Imeko-Afon and Yewa North Local Government Areas have cried out to the authorities on different occasions, but it appears the killings and harassment by men of the NCS continued unabated.
Our correspondent gathered from locals that innocent souls, including school pupils, traders and artisans, have fallen victims of stray bullets and road accidents whenever the customs officers are chasing suspected smugglers.
In Abeokuta, Ilaro, Sango-Otta and other Ogun communities, the NCS officers were said to have broken into shops and houses at night in search of foreign rice suspected to have been smuggled into the country.
The Chairman of Ogun judicial panel of investigation, Hon. Justice Solomon Olugbemi (Rtd), said the panel will listen to all petitions filed against men of the NCS.
According to him, the panel was set up to receive complaints of brutality involving all security agents in the State.
Olugbemi disclosed that no fewer than 40 petitions have been received as of Thursday when the panel had its inaugural sitting.
He assured all petitioners that they will not be intimidated by any individual for any reason whatsoever.
It will be recalled that residents of border communities took advantage of the recent End SARS protest to storm the office of the NCS in Idiroko border, demanding an end to incessant killings and brutality.