24.02.2024 Featured Seriously Bleeding Man Holds On to Bag of Rice at Customs Office (Photos)

Published 24th Feb, 2024

By Olayide Soaga

Amid beatings and struggles, a seriously bleeding man held on to a bag of rice at the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) office in Onike, Yaba, Lagos State, during the distribution of confiscated bags of rice to citizens on Friday.

The NCS had announced the distribution exercise a day before.

FIJ learned that the distribution was not seamless and that, in fact, some people sustained injuries and were beaten by soldiers while struggling to get portions of the rice.

An eyewitness who does not want to be named said the gate was locked but people were devising other means to get in.

Credit: Adebayo Sharon Ogunleke

“The gate was locked and people went in through the fence. Due to the large number, people were passing out. I witnessed someone passing out,” he told FIJ.

“I saw a man who was bleeding from head to toe. Even with the injuries he sustained, he still held on to his bag of rice.”

Photo credit: Adebayo Sharon Ogunleke

He told FIJ that when the distribution began, there was a queue but it became disordered at some point and people began struggling to get in. He also mentioned that the soldiers present beat up people to ensure orderliness.

“Soldiers were using pipes to flog people at some point. It was intense. Both old and young people got flogged,” he added.

Photo credit: Adebayo Sharon Ogunleke
A woman with a blood-stained hijab. Photo credit: Adebayo Sharon Ogunleke
Photo credit: Adebayo Sharon Ogunleke

He added that although the bags of rice were being distributed to people after paying N10,000 and tendering a copy of their National Identification Number (NIN) slip, when the distribution began, the customs officers eventually resorted to giving them to people for free.

There are claims of a stampede and the loss of lives at the scene by Nigerians on X.

@yemoka, an X user, tweeted: “A man just died in my hospital, he was stamped on after falling at the custom office trying to get rice. He was on the queue with his wife when he fell down and couldn’t get up on time which resulted to people stamping on him. So sad. Survived by very young children. Naija”


Another X user, @MrJoshtym, tweeted that a man was rushed to Harvey Road Health Centre from the scene of the incident but did not make it.

FIJ tried to contact Harvey Road Health Centre via the phone number found on their Google business page for comments, but we could not get a response, as the phone number was not reachable.

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Published 24th Feb, 2024

By Olayide Soaga


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