Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari is angry with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for carrying out operation in the state which led to the death of some citizens.
He demanded on Monday therefore, that NCS must compensate families of those killed and injured by its operatives in Jibia Local Government Area or face legal action by the state government.
He also accused the Nigerian Customs Service under the leadership of Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd) of working against the people of Katsina State, particularly those at the border communities in the state.
Masari, who gave the directive, when he received the Service Zonal Coordinator, Zone ‘B’ Kaduna, Assistant Controller General (ACG), Uba Mohammed, urged the service to arrest and prosecute its officers and driver involved in the Jibia incident.
Operatives of the NCS, while pursuing suspected smugglers in Jibia Lacal Government, on Aug 9, 2021, lost control and killed 10 persons and injured 20 others.
The governor called on the Nigerian Customs Services to liaise with other security agencies to identify and raid shops, where contraband were stored rather than reckless shootings and killings of innocent citizens of the state.
He said- “There was a time you (Customs) were shooting sporadically and shouting right here inside the Katsina city, when bandits are there killing people. But you are also busy killing people, because of bags of rice on motorcycles, unfortunately.
“We are not condoling smuggling in any form but then you have criminalised people living within the border communities of Nigeria. You don’t even care. Life means nothing to you, because in the end you are going to declare in the federation account amount collected by the Customs.
“Today, if you are taking pure water from Katsina to Jibia you will pass not less than 28 checking points. Those 28 check points, they are not check points but toll-gates. You are making life miserable for people you suppose to serve.
“You are pursuing somebody on a motorcycle with five bags of rice as if you a pursuing a bandit. Look, for me, you have to compensate these people. Secondly, you must prosecute the driver and the officer, who directed him.
We will not accept anything short of this. We are ready to test the legal system that gave you right to kill right inside the town. There are only two things that will stop us from testing; you compensate those lives that you killed and prosecute the driver and the officer who is directing to pursue recklessly,” he said.