Gunmen have reportedly kidnapped four men of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) at Jibia local government area of Katsina State, a border town with the Republic of Niger.
According to eyewitness the Customs men were taken away yesterday morning at the Dan-Bedi Customs checkpoint, along with an unspecified number of travellers on the Jibia – Batsari highway at about 10 am.
“The bandits, riding on motorcycles, arrived the Customs checkpoint this morning (Wednesday) and overpowered the officers, seized their weapons and fired gunshots sporadically into the air,” an eyewitness told reporters, adding that, “the gunmen also seized several motorists and passengers and disappeared with them into the nearby Rugu forest.”
When contacted on phone, the Katsina Customs Public Relations Officer, Peter Duniya, declined to comment on the matter saying that he was on leave.
But a senior Customs officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “Yes, we are aware of the incident but it is still fresh as it just happened this morning (Wednesday) and investigation is still ongoing. We have not even compiled the report and of course, I am not the right person to speak officially on the issue.”
This is the second time within the week that gunmen would abduct persons along the highway in the same area of Jibia. The police confirmed that suspected bandits last Sunday temporarily blocked a section of the Jibia – Batsari road and kidnapped no fewer than 19 motorists and passengers.