The Nigerian Senate has resolved that the families of the victims of the Eid-el-Fitr customs shooting should receive compensation from the Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff and the Senate Committee on Police Affairs.
The decision comes in the wake of a motion passed by Senator Buhari Abdulfatai of Oyo State, who argued that the Nigerian Customs Service has a history of disregarding due process and the shooting during the Sallah celebrations could have been avoided.
The names of the deceased victims of the shooting are; Ibrahim Mojeed, Timothy Gbadegesin, Tobiloba Opeyemi, Abdullah Abdulazeez, and a fifth victim who has not yet been identified.
The resolution read: “Urge the Senate to mandate the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff and the Senate Committee on Police Affairs to jointly interface with the hierarchy of the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Customs Service towards ensuring that the incident is thoroughly investigated and any wrongdoers brought to book and organizing proper compensation to the families of the deceased and the injured.”
Senator Buhari’s motion also petitioned the Senate to launch an investigation into the Nigerian Customs Service’s recent misdeeds; the five deaths resulting from their indiscriminate shooting spree in Iseyin, the breaking into shops at Ogbomosho and Ibadan, and their blatant disregard for following due process.
The Senator pointed out that the right to life is a constitutional right and no one could be intentionally deprived of that right except in the execution of a court sentence as punishment for a severe criminal offense. The five deceased victims he argued, were unjustly deprived of their right to life by the Customs operatives on that dark day.
He also disclosed that; ”the Senate regrets that custom officials have abused these privileges and turned themselves into something else by terrorizing and harassing innocent citizens, breaking their shops in absentia and carting away money and rice in their shops.”
The Senator mentioned that Customs operatives had also taken away N1.2 million and 600 bags of rice from Ogbomoso. They also took away N4 million and several lorry loads of rice from Ibadan on three different occasions.
The Nigerian Senate was urged to mandate the Senate Committee to work with Customs bosses to re-orientate their operatives to show greater restraint in future engagements with Nigerian Citizens.
“Urge the Senate to mandate the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise, and Tariff to interface with the hierarchy of the Nigeria Customs Service towards identifying victims of the incident and organizing proper compensation to the family of the deceased and the injured.”
“Urge the Senate to mandate the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise, and Tariff to interface with the top hierarchy of Customs towards the reorientation of members of the service to restrain the use of firearms in the course of their official engagement in line with the international best practices.”
“Urge the Senate to mandate the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise, and Tariff to tell Customs hierarchy to return all the money taken away – N1.2 million with 600 bags of rice taken from shops in Ogbomoso and N4 million with the trucks of rice from Ibadan respectively.”