Pandemonium as Nigerian Customs, Air Force officials clash at checkpoint

Two men of the Nigerian air force sustained serious injuries during a scuffle with customs officials at the Gbaji checkpoint in the Badagry area of Lagos state on Thursday.

A witness told NAN that the incident happened when the air men, travelling in a Toyota Camry car were stopped for routine checks by the customs officials.

“One of the air men told the customs officials that there was nothing in the car but the customs men insisted on checking their vehicle,” the witness said.

“A struggle ensued as the air force men tried to disarm the customs men. However, one of the air force men was hit in the head while the other sustained injuries on his left arm.”

NAN reported that the customs men and other agencies swiftly abandoned the checkpoint after the incident for fear of reprisal attack.

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The injured men were later taken in an air force ambulance to the Mother and Child Hospital, Nigeria Air Force Forward Operations Base at Ahanve, Badagry, for medical attention.

The two injured officers were identified as Waziri and Chidi Onyecheke.

When contacted, the spokesman for the Seme command of the Nigerian Customs Service, Saidu Abudulahi, said that the customs officers, who engaged the air force men were not from the command.

He, however, said that the command would meet with the air force authorities to resolve the matter.

Men of the customs have however, returned to the checkpoint early on Friday.

The Lagos-Badagry highway is known for multiple checkpoints mounted by various security agencies in their bid to extort money from road users.

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Earlier in the week, Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, said most of the officers manning checkpoints in the area are not known to the authorities.

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