An 18 years old SS3 student has become the latest victim of stray bullet as he was killed during a clash between security operatives and rice smugglers.
Alade Oba was hit by stray bullet and died immediately on Saturday, June 19. during the clash with the Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT) comprising Customs, Army and Immigration and suspected rice smugglers at Irosu village near Badagry.
The JBPT, which was constituted in the wake of the border closure in August 2019, is yet to be disbanded.
The JBPT operatives, it was learnt, were on routine patrol at Irosu community near Sawa check point around Owode-Apa border post in search of smuggled foreign rice, following a tip-off when the incident occurred.
Reportedly, some aggrieved youths, however, confronted the operatives, vowing that none of the security agent would be allowed to enter their domain to carry out the operation.
“However, in the ensuing fracas, the operatives started shooting into the air. In the process, one Alade Oba, an SSS3 student of Kankon Secondary School, was hit by a stray bullet and died on the spot. This resulted into serious protest by the youths who mobilized and burnt tyres, demanding for the release of Oba’s corpse,” a source was quoted.
The protest prompted the Commanding Officer of 243 Recce Battalion, Ibereko, Badagry, Col. Nicholas Rume, to lead his men to the area to contain what was degenerating into further loss of lives.
The deceased corpse was however, later released to the family for burial while soldiers were deployed to ensure peace in the area.
Chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) in Badagry West, Mr David Aladeotan who confirmed the incident said the deceased was on his way from coconut farm when he was hit by stray bullet and died immediately.
“Despite the fact that elders and leaders of the community assured them that there was no smuggled rice in the village, they continued searching, but they did not get anything. So, they deliberately picked some motorcycles parked by some people; this resulted into confrontation between the officials and the motorcycle riders, when they were trying to get their bikes back.
“The riders overpowered them and collected their motorcycles back, this made the JBPT to reinforce, blocked the roads, restricting people’s movement. Consequently, they started shooting sporadically into the air and around. The bullets hit two people immediately. One of the victims is a SS3 student of Kankon Senior Secondary School, who died on the spot, while the other hit on the leg was receiving treatment in hospital,” Aladeotan said.
The Public Relations Officer, Seme Customs Area Command, Abdullahi Hussiain who confirmed the incident, said the security operatives were attacked by rice smugglers who were using bush paths in Irosu community.
His words, “The officials of JPBT blocked the bush paths and apprehended some motorcycles being used for smuggling rice. The smugglers went to mobilise about 150 people to attack the officials of JBPT, throwing stones and using other weapons.
“It was when they made an attempt to burn one of the Hillux buses by the team that the officials were forced to shoot into the air to scare them away. It was during the shooting that a stray bullet hit one of the ring leaders. The allegation that the guy was coming from farm is a lie, he was among the smugglers and one of them”.
Hussiain said that the situation had been calmed, adding that normalcy had returned to the community.