OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has asked the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to pay the sum of N390 million compensation to families of the 18 people killed and 15 others injured by its men in Iseyin and other parts of Oyo State.

The House further recommended that the officers involved in the acts of killings of innocent Nigerians should be brought to book, prosecuted, and punished accordingly to serve as a deterrent to others.

These decisions followed the consideration and adoption of the report of the Committee on Customs and Excise on Tuesday.

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The committee had investigated the violence in Iseyin Local Government Area of Oyo State in respect of the Killing of indigenes; murder of innocent people in Jibia and brutal murder at Igangan, Igboora, Ayete, Tapa in Ibarapa area of Oyo State by the men of the NCS.

Recall that the House last year directed the Committee on Customs and Excise to probe the ugly incidents after an adoption of the motion moved in that regard. The Iseyin killings had caused public outrage across the country.

Victims of the violence had demanded, during the probe, for N4.5billion as compensation from Customs.

Presenting the report before the House at plenary, chairman of the committee, Leke Abejide (ADC, Kogi) noted that life has no duplicate and cannot be replaced once lost, as such, the families of the deceased should be compensated in monetary terms.

He said his committee recommended that each soul lost in any of the incidents be compensated by the NCS with the sum of N20 million while those with gunshot injuries be given N2 million.

Accordingly, N20 million compensation is to be paid to the four people killed in the Iseyin incidence while the person who sustained a gunshot injury there is to get N2million for treatment, amounting to N82 million.

For the Jibia incident, the Nigerian Customs Service is to pay N20 million compensation for the 10 persons killed and N2 million to the 13 persons injured bringing the total to N226 million.

On the mayhem in Igangan, the committee recommended that the NCS pay N20 million to families of the four people killed and N2 million to the one injured person, totaling N82 million.

On the side of the NCS, the committee stated that “provision should be made for procurement of ballistic vehicles (bullet proof), bullet proof vests, and helmets urgently for Nigeria Customs Service to confront the daredevil smugglers attacking their officers at border stations whenever the smugglers opened fire on them. This would encourage Nigeria Customs Service to be able to curtail smuggling with fewer causalities on their side.”

The committee also regretted that “constant conflict with communities is counterproductive and unsustainable” and that “the Nigeria Customs Service should aggressively deepen its engagement with traditional rulers, community stakeholders, host communities, relevant trade associations, local police networks, and local security outfits to prevent future loss of lives and property on all sides.”

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