Eyewitnesses said Joel was hit by a stray bullet while some customs officers were trying to apprehend a motorist who was smuggling a red Volkswagen bus from Benin Republic into Nigeria.
It was learnt that after the shooting, some residents took to the streets in protest. The residents were said to have alleged that customs officials had killed at least three motorists this month under the pretext that they were smugglers.
It was learnt that in the ensuing pandemonium, the customs officials stationed in the area fled. However, a Superintendent of Customs, identified as J. I Motojelu, was said to have been driving by at the time.
PUNCH Metro learnt that in retaliation, the angry mob, led by a community leader, dragged the officer out of his Toyota Corolla car marked ABJ 663 DW, and killed him.
It was learnt that the irate mob, also set the deceased officer’s vehicle ablaze and set up bonfires at the centre of the road.
The culprits were said to have used the opportunity to steal some items that had previously been seized by customs.
A police source said, “Motojelu, who knew nothing about the incident was beaten to death. The mob opened a customs patrol van stationed nearby and took a G3 rifle with 30 rounds of ammunition kept inside it. They then set the vehicle ablaze.”
Sources told our correspondent that some customs officials and policemen later returned to the scene and fired shots to disperse the mob.