Olufemi Adediran Abeokuta A middle-aged man, Atanda Idowu Moses, who sustained gunshot injury during a clash between men of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and smugglers in Oja Odan in Yewa South local government area of Ogun State has died.
A relation of the deceased, Olatunji Olaniran, who confirmed this to New Telegraph yesterday, disclosed that Atanda died on Saturday night at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Abeokuta, where he was being treated.
According to him, Atanda and one other were working in their workshop when they were hit by stray bullets fired by men of the Ogun State Command of the NCS while they were chasing smugglers on Saturday.
Atanda was until his death the Chairman of the Nigerian Association of Panel Beaters, Oja Odan branch. Olatunji told New Telegraph that the deceased, who was the only surviving son of his aged mother, was immediately rushed to a private hospital in Oja Odan from where he was transferred to the FMC, Abeokuta, where he died.
The daughter of the deceased, Atanda Oluwaseun, also told New Telegraph that her father was hit on the head by the bullet. Oluwaseun added that her father was neither a smuggler nor a criminal. She said: “My father was a lawabiding citizen who made a living from his panel beating job. “He was the only son of his aged mother and he has been the one taking care of his mother and his other siblings.”
A witness said Atanda was in his shop with another artisan when the bullets allegedly fired by Customs officers identified as Jalo and Abdulahi who led the operation hit them.
“Atanda was in the shop with another victim whose identity could not be ascertained before the stray bullets fired by Customs officers hit them,” the witness added. Reacting to the incident, a member of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Wahab Haruna Egungbohun, described Atanda’s death as unfortunate and needless.
Egungbohun, who is representing Ketu Constituency (II) in Yewa North Local Government Area, appealed to the state government to investigate the killing and ensure that the indicted officers are brought to justice.