By Bakiri Adus
Two officers of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, have been feared dead on Sunday from a ghastly road accident in Akwa Ibom State.
Waffi tv gathered that the yet-to-be identified officers were victims of the accident while their van was chasing a Toyota Sienna bus, suspected to be conveying rice at Urua Ita, Oron axis section of the East West Road in Akwa Ibom State.
According to eyewitnesses, the Customs Officers suspected that the Sienna was smuggling foreign rice from Oron local government area and heading to Eket local government area of the state.
One of the eyewitness, Comrade Ben Asuquo, who spoke with this Reporter, said apart from the two Customs officers that were feared dead, two other persons from the Toyota Sienna also sustained major injuries.
“The NCS officers were on duty patrol and on sighting a Sienna bus, they suspected it was carrying foreign rice in it, so the officers made a U-turn and started chasing the bus with their van.
“The driver of the custom vehicle, Strike Force Zone C lost control, collided and smashed the Sienna and the Custom vehicle summersaulted severally.
“Two custom officers were found helpless, suspected to be dead at the spot. They could move neither legs nor hands. Meanwhile, others were seriously wounded.
“On searching the Toyota Sienna vehicle, no single bag of rice was found”, Asuquo said.
Asuquo lamented further while blaming the driver of the Sienna bus for the cause of the accident that: “I don’t really know why a man who claimed was coming back from church was running away from custom officers.”
The spokesperson of NCS in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Joseph Attah, however, told newsmen that the Customs officers did not die, adding that, “They are responding to treatment.”
He further noted that: “You know Nigerians, whenever somebody has an accident instead of them to help you they will just be snapping photos. Now, they don’t even know if the persons are okay!”
Mr Attah said that it is part of the hazards their officials go through daily while doing their job.
Recalled that the Federal Government have banned the importation of foreign rice, the reason for the boarder closure.