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Monday, 26 February 2024 08:21

Customs Launches Probe Into Deadly Stampede At Lagos Rice Sale


The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has launched an investigation following reports that a stampede during its discounted rice sale in Lagos left numerous people dead.

Eyewitnesses said chaos erupted on Friday at the Customs zonal office in Yaba as huge crowds scrambled to purchase bags of seized foreign rice being sold at N10,000 each, significantly below market cost.

In the ensuing stampede, no fewer than 7 persons were said to have been trampled to death while dozens more were injured. Customs authorities admitted the scenes were chaotic but blamed lack of patience by the crowds.

The Lagos chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) confirmed that one of its female members, Comfort Funmilayo Adebanjo, died in the incident while trying to buy the subsidized rice.

The rice sale was flagged off across NCS offices by the Customs boss, Col. Adewale Adeniyi (Rtd.) last week to ease economic hardship brought on by rising food costs. But the exercise has been marred by poor crowd control, casting doubts on its continuity.

Lagos Customs says it has kicked off an investigation to determine what led to the deadly stampede in Lagos to forestall a repeat as the rice sales continue in other locations.

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