Three personnel of The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have been confirmed killed by gunmen in Rivers State.
Mr Jerry Atta, who is the spokesperson for Zone C, Custom’s Federal Operations Unit, confirmed this on Sunday.
He explained that the officers were attacked by armed men on Saturday night at a patrol base in Isiokpo – the headquarters of Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
The zonal spokesman added that after killing the security operatives, the gunmen went away with an Ak-47 rifle and two Toyota Hilux vans belonging to the service.
He noted that a thorough investigation would be carried out to unravel the circumstances that led to the attack and to unravel the motive of the assailants.
Atta blamed the killing of the security operatives on armed smugglers whose businesses have been frustrated by the customs in recent times.
It was reported that an unspecified number of customs officers and policemen were killed at different checkpoints in Rivers.
The incident was said to have taken place between Omagwa – Isiokpo – Elele communities in Ikwerre, along the Port Harcourt – Owerri Road.
Although police authorities in the state have confirmed the attack, they went silent on whether any of their personnel was killed.
“We have launched a full-scale investigation into the dastardly attack with a view to arresting the perpetrators and bringing them to justice,” the Commissioner of Police in Rivers, Eboka Friday, said in a statement by the Police Public Relations Officer in Rivers, Nnamdi Omoni.
He noted that calm has been restored in the area, with reinforced and increased joint patrols in Ikwerre and other areas in the state by the security agencies.
Saturday’s attack came two days after three persons were shot dead in the Diobu area of Port Harcourt, the state capital, following a clash between two rival cult groups.
However, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike in a tweet condemned the killings. In a statement released by his SA on Media, the governor described the attack as barbaric.