Lagos State Police Command has arrested five officers of the Nigerian Customs Service for the murder of a 30-year-old car dealer, Uririnke Onojorhoevwo.
Our correspondent learnt on Tuesday that the suspects were being interrogated by detectives in the Homicide Department at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yaba.
PUNCH Metro had reported that the customs officers attached to Federal Operation Unit, Zone A, Ikeja, allegedly killed the deceased, who was driving an unregistered Audi Station wagon in Iyana-Ipaja area of the state on June 16, 2013.
Policemen on duty had also claimed that they saw the customs officers in a Toyota Hilux Van with registration number CS307A01, shoot Onojorhoevwo.
The police had told our correspondent that the customs authorities had refused to provide them with information regarding the circumstances surrounding the car dealer’s murder.
However, after PUNCH Metro published the story on July 4, 2013, the Comptroller-General, NCS, Mr. Abdullahi Dikko, ordered that the customs officers be arrested and handed over to the police immediately.
Dikko said although the deceased had been accused of smuggling, he was more interested in who killed him.
He said, “This is a situation where my officers disregarded my order. The service had restricted their activities to the international borders.
“This incident will expose the excesses of our officers and men and I can assure you that anyone found to be involved will face the wrath of the law.”
Dikko also directed that land checkpoints should be dismantled, while anti-smuggling activities should be limited to the 40km radius of the international borders with immediate effect.
A police detective at the SCID told PUNCH Metro that the arrested customs officers had written statements and had also led policemen to the crime scene.
The police source added that the customs officers denied killing the deceased.
He said, “We all visited the crime scene and the customs officers said they came to the crime scene on that fateful day, but met the blood-stained vehicle there.
“They said they did not see the deceased at the crime scene and after looking at the car, they drove off.
“Investigations are ongoing but the customs officers will remain in our custody.”
Meanwhile, it was learnt that Onojorhoevwo had been buried in his hometown at Okpara Inland, Ethiope East Local Government, Delta State.
The family members said they hoped that justice would be done.