Katsina — Police officers attached to the convoy of Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo yesterday attacked and beat up three customs officials in Katsina State.
The incident occurred at Daddara village in Jibia Local Government Area, when the vice president was in the state to condole with victims of the flood disaster, which left more than 50 people dead.
Trouble started when the customs officials had apprehended a vehicle, which allegedly had contraband products smuggled by some youths from neighbouring Niger Republic.
It was while the customs officials were struggling to impound the vehicle belonging to the suspected smugglers that the vice president's convoy passed the village.
An eyewitness said the customs officials were threateningly brandishing their rifles to ward off several youths who had stormed the scene in show of sympathy to the smugglers.
He said the police in the convoy of the vice president, on seeing what the customs officials were doing with their weapons, perceived it as a security threat.
"Several policemen immediately came down from their vehicles and descended on the customs officials. One of them even fired a shot into the air.
I saw one of the policemen struggling to collect a rifle from one of the customs officials, but when he couldn't, he continued to slap the customs official," he added.
He said that the suspected smugglers however used the opportunity of the commotion to move their vehicle away from the scene.
"Some of the youths that had gathered also threw stones at the customs officials' vehicle and continued to boo them till they left the area."