The Nigeria Customs Service has debunked allegations preferred against its operatives for attacking a car along Ningi-Kano road, which led to the death of a journalist and four others.
Recall that the late journalist, a freelance reporter with Daily Trust Newspapers in Jos, died in a ghastly motor accident, along with four others on Ningi-Kano Road, on Saturday.
The Public Relations Officer, Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘D’ Bauchi of the Service, Suleiman Isah, in a media statement, made available to newsmen in Bauchi on Wednesday, said the allegations were made by the friend of the deceased journalist via Twitter platform.
According to him, ‘The attention of the Nigerian Customs Service was drawn to the misleading tweets by @KNingi on his Tweeter handle purporting that Officers of the @CustomsNG yesterday (Saturday) along Ningi-Kano road attack a driver carrying bags of rice.
He stressed further that the tweeter user added that “incidentally this resulted to the death of about 5 passengers, including my friend reporter of @daily_trust Bashir Musa Liman.”
Isah, an Assistant Superintendent of Customs II, said that the tweet was false, mischievous and aimed at “misleading the public that the operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service have a hand in the accident that caused lost of lives.
“This story is mischievous, misleading and false in its entirety. As responsible operatives of Government, our heart and prayers go to the families of the deceased. We pray the Almighty Allah to grant the deceased Aljannatul-Firdausi.”
He said that it was, however, important to keep the record of the unfortunate accident straight, by stating that there was no operative of the Nigeria Customs Service on that road in question on the fateful day.
“Immediately after reading the misleading tweet, we began to find out what actually happened; eye witnesses, including a brother of one of the deceased has clearly shown that the operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service were never associated with the accident since there was none on that road.
“Every narration revolved around over-speeding and attempt to overtake which led to the fatal accident. We also gathered that One (1) of the vehicles involved in the accident was carrying some bags of rice and some people thought it could have been operatives of the NCS that caused the accident,” he stated.
The Customs PRO however advised any person interested in further verification of his statement was free to contact any appropriate authority like the Nigeria Police Force “that might have been on the road when the unfortunate accident happened.”
Isah noted that: “As humans, we share in the pain of loosing loved ones. Let me use this opportunity to call on @KNingi.1d and indeed other social media users to be extra careful and verify their stories before posting or tweets on social media especially when it concerns such serious issue like human life.
“Let me, once again, extend the condolences of the Service to the families of the deceased and pray for road safety for every traveler, ” he said.