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Surviving the Line of Duty: A Customs Officer’s Tale of Bravery and Resilience

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In a gripping testimony presented at the Federal High Court in Ibadan, Assistant Superintendent of Customs, Mr. Amos Ekundayo, recounted a life-threatening encounter with a gang of rice smugglers that nearly cost him his life.

Led by prosecution counsel Mr. Michael Osug, Ekundayo narrated the harrowing events of May 22, 2023, when he and his team faced imminent danger on the Ologbojo-Tapa road in the Igbo-ora area.

Upon arrival at the scene, Ekundayo attempted to confront the smugglers, only to be met with defiance as they declared that only Sunday Igboho held authority over them.

Without warning, Ekundayo found himself staring down the barrel of a gun as the smugglers opened fire, leaving him with gunshot wounds to the head and back.

Miraculously surviving the ordeal, Ekundayo detailed his journey to recovery, including eight days spent in the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.

The gravity of the incident became clear as Ekundayo pointed out the three distinct locations where he had been shot, underscoring the severity of the attack.

During the course of the investigation, it was revealed that the defendants, Ayodeji and Odugbemi, along with accomplices, had orchestrated the smuggling of 144 bags of parboiled rice from Cotonou, Benin Republic.

Testimony from Mr. Ganiu Salami, an informant to the Nigeria Customs Service, corroborated Ekundayo’s account, providing crucial insight into the events leading up to the confrontation.

Despite objections from the defense counsel regarding the admissibility of the medical report tendered by Salami, the court ultimately ruled in favor of its inclusion as evidence against the defendants.

With the trial set to continue on March 23, the pursuit of justice for Ekundayo and his colleagues remains steadfast.

The bravery and resilience displayed by Ekundayo serve as a testament to the dedication of customs officers in safeguarding the nation’s borders, often at great personal risk.

As the trial unfolds, Ekundayo’s story stands as a reminder of the sacrifices made by law enforcement officers in the relentless pursuit of justice.

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