Yomi Olomofe, the journalist who was allegedly battered by suspected smugglers on Thursday June 25, 2015 in Lagos State has revealed how officers of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) looked away while he was being battered and eventually left for dead. He is currently recuperating in an Ikeja hospital.
According to Olomofe, the director of Prime Magazine which is based in the Badagry area of the state, his attackers kept yelling, “We will kill you today. When we kill you, other journalists will leave this place alone.”
Olomofe while narrating his experience to the PUNCH on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 said he had been invited to the Seme custom office for an assignment where the suspected smugglers caught up with him and started beating him all the while claiming that he wrote against their activities in the area.
The incident was reported to the Morogbo Area Command on Friday, June 26, 2015 while a petition was filed at the office of the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Kayode Aderanti on Tuesday, June 30.
Olomofe identified three out of the four persons he said attacked him as Momoh, Shehu and Elijah. He enjoined the Commissioner and the Inspector General of Police to immediately commence investigation as smugglers had over taken the Seme border area.
According to Olomofe, “The attack was around 4pm. There were four men who pounced on me while I was on the NCS, Seme Area Command premises. They were shouting on top of their voices, ‘We will kill you today. When we kill you today, other journalists will leave this place alone.’
“The most notorious of them is known as Alhaji Momoh, otherwise called Basket. The others are Elijah and Shehu. The fourth person is unknown. They came with cudgels. It was when they hit me on the head that I knew they intended to kill me.
“There were about 12 others. They carried me out of the place to a refuse dump. The hoodlums appeared to have some understanding with the customs officers. I want the police to ensure that justice is done on the matter.
“They clearly made an attempt to take my life in broad daylight without any provocation. I have no issue with them whatsoever.”
The Nigerian Custom Service Public Relations Officer in the Seme Area Command, Afiz Abiodun Ajao, said that investigations into the incident were currently ongoing at the command and that the NCS would reveal its findings soon.
He said, “The command learnt of the unfortunate incident and a high-powered investigation has commenced to know what happened. The outcome of the investigation will be duly communicated.”