A car dealer and clearing agent, Salau Adeyemi, has narrated how a Nigerian customs officer shot him in the leg, inflicting pains on him during a regular stop-and-search in Lagos State.
Adeyemi, stated that the customs officer shot him in the left leg and bragged that he would shoot him again in the right leg over a little misunderstanding during the search.
The dealer noted that the gunshots attracted the attention of the people around and other customs officers.
According to Adeyemi, the customs officer had initially threatened to stab him because he (Adeyemi) insisted that he would not get down from his vehicle after handing the necessary documents to the officer.
He narrated that the officer picked up a phone call from his (Adeyemi) wife, after he (Adeyemi) had become unconscious, also bragging to her that her husband had been killed and she should come for his corpse in Ikeja.
The officer was reported to have dragged Adeyemi into the gutter after shooting him.
Speaking with SaharaReporters from his hospital bed, Adeyemi recalled, “On March 17, 2021, I took delivery of a Toyota RAV4 2019 Model which I collected valuation for through the Valuation Unit of Nigeria Customs Service by D. C. E. Nwankwo.
“Initially, I was given N1,500,000. When they took it to him to append his signature, he refused. They said I should pay N1,700,000 as Surface Duty of the vehicle totalling N2,367,000 which I paid.
“I did the examination for the vehicle. The mileage was over 23,000. I was coming from Tinker (Apapa) and when I got to Berger before Arthur Waugh, a federal customs operation unit officer stopped me and asked for the documents which I gave to him.
“I knew what he was expecting from me which was that I should give him money. But I gave him only the documents and he said I should come down from the car but I Insisted that I wouldn’t because he already had the documents. Instead, the officer brought out a dagger and attempted to stab me which I dodged. He shot in the leg.
“That moment, my wife called me without knowing if anything had happened. She just called my line. The officer answered the call and told my wife to come and carry the corpse of her dead husband at Ikeja.
“The officer collected the phone from me and hid it in his pocket. He was saying ‘I’ll give you water, you will die.’ In that process, some police officers came to the scene and asked the officer what had happened. While I was trying to move again, the officer insisted I wouldn’t go. He was asking how to start the vehicle and threatened to shoot my second leg if I didn’t tell him.”
Meanwhile, a colleague of Adeyemi, Oluwemimo Olaitan who rushed Adeyemi to an undisclosed hospital explained the condition he met his friend.
He said that Salau was in a pool of blood before he rushed him to the hospital for proper medical attention.
He said, “On that fateful day, I was in the office when I heard the conversation and I went downstairs and saw a lot of officers. I was trying to get close but one officer prevented me and threatened to shoot me If I dared to. I let him know the victim was my friend but he insisted and I complied.
“Later on, I noticed they had crossed to the other side of the road and I moved closer to Adeyemi. I saw him in a pool of blood. His shirt was torn and he was in pain. I was so sad about what was going on. I had to stop a bike and take him to a hospital close to Kirikiri town.
“When we got to the hospital, the doctor saw that it was a gunshot and asked about who shot him. I told him it was the customs. He promised to treat him while a police report should be given to him later. The doctor examined the injury but there were no scratches on the bone.”
Adeyemi’s boss, Niniola Abayomi, confirmed that a Deputy Comptroller of Custom, identified only as Jack, sent an envelope containing N200,000 through the Divisional Police Officer of the Trinity Police Station, to Adeyemi as compensation.
“The Vice president of our agents’ association took me away from the first hospital to another one for adequate treatment. Since then I’ve been treating the injury and using daily medications,” Adeyemi continued.
“I saw news reports that the customs public relations officer said I was struggling with him for possession of a gun. Why would I struggle with him to have possession of a gun? And if they claimed I dragged the gun, maybe we should check for fingerprints. Since then, they have gone away with my vehicle and I have not heard anything from them.”