A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and governorship candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement in Ogun State, Hon. Adekunle Akinlade, has reacted to the alleged killing of three persons by stray bullets said to have been fired by men of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Ayetoro area of the State on Tuesday.
DAILY POST reported on Tuesday that there was a clash between customs officers and some suspected smugglers when the NCS were in Kikelomo area of Ayetoro to evacuate imported bags of rice from a building.
Shots were said to have been fired by the customs officers and this reportedly led to deaths and injuries among innocent individuals.
In a statement made available to DAILY POST on Wednesday by his media aide, Azeez Adelani, Akinlade threatened that the NCS would be dragged for extra-judicial killings before the International Criminal Court, the United Nations and other global agencies, if those behind the alleged killings were not brought to book by January 21, 2021.
Akinlade, an indigene of Yewa land in Ogun West Senatorial district, called for “an immediate halt to the killings of innocent residents by men of the Nigeria Customs Service.”
According to the former lawmaker, “it is high time the people of Yewa kingdom took their destinies in their own hands and approach the UN, ICC and other related global bodies for redress.”
He said it is now clear that the State government will not act.
He said, “If by Monday 21st of January 2021, those responsible for this killing are not brought to book, we shall commence the process of approaching external bodies for justice, which is within our rights as global citizens.”
Akinlade recalled that while he was at the National Assembly between 2015 and 2019, he brought to the attention of the parliament, several of such killings.
He said that not only did the House take up his motion, the cases were referred to the House Committee on Public Complaints.
He, however, expressed disappointment that “the whole effort was frustrated by the NCS and its leadership.” Triple A, as he is fondly called, believes that such killings will not stop unless it is brought before the global court.
“Unless individuals are prosecuted for extrajudicial killings and blacklisted internationally, nothing will change.
“Men of the NCS knows the big players in the smuggling rings. In short, they dine and wine with them. Those men are not spirits but cowards who make illicit money from the blood of innocent residents.
“It is my sincere hope that someday, NCS will have in its ranks, courageous officers that will be able to go after the real smugglers and end this senseless killings of innocent Ogun men, women and children.
“Nigerian has borders in 105 local governments within 21 states. How many of such killings do we record in other States or LGs? Are they saying that the NCS have two different code of engagement in the North and Southern parts of the country?
“The State government must summon the courage to speak up or what does the leadership discuss when attending FEC meetings? Everyone that is in position to put a stop to this killings but choose not to act is culpable”.
“We hereby call on all sons and daughters of Yewa land to rise up and speak with one strong voice by saying, ENOUGH OF THESE KILLINGS!” Akinlade stated emphatically.