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Customs officer on routine check escapes death in A’Ibom

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Etim Ekpimah, Uyo

A Deputy Superintendent of the Nigerian Customs Service, Emmanuel Banmeke, escaped being killed on Thursday along Eket-Ikot-Abasi-Eket-Port Harcourt axis of the West East Road around 10:30am.

 Southern City News learnt that the 51 years old Banmeke was flagging down an oncoming vehicle when the driver, who was later identified as Nsikanabasi Ese, a pastor, and founder of Kairos Rhema Embassy, Uyo, first pretended to slow down for a check, only to deliberately zoom off at once on top speed to hit the officer.

 Banmeke, who spoke with journalists at Immanuel Hospital, Eket, Akwa Ibom State, said it was only God that saved him from being killed by the motorist.

 He said there was considerable distance where he stood from the oncoming vehicle, adding that as he was flagging down the vehicle, he thought Ese had slowed down.

According to him, as he was approaching, the man took off at once and directed the vehicle towards him.

 He added that when he noticed the aggression towards him, he leapt for safety, but his legs had already been hit by the Sport Utility Vehicle.

 “He (the pastor) slowed down the vehicle and we thought he was pulling over. At the point that we were relaxed, he fired back the engine at full throttle and before I could dive to safety, he had already hit me,” he said.

 Banmeke lamented that he was feeling pains in his waist region and added that he couldn’t move his right leg and was assisted to sit on a hospital chair by two other Customs officials.

Ese was, however, said to have sped off after hitting the officer.

 A senior customs officer, who did not want to be named, said, “He pulled over the brown colour Toyota Highlander at a short distance along the highway when he noticed that a customs vehicle was about chasing him.

 “He flung open the car door, walked away from the car and then suddenly slumped on the ground as though he was in great pains.

 “As we were about to find out what was wrong with him, another occupant of the car jumped onto the steering and ran away with the car.”

 He added that the Customs drove both its injured officer and the pastor to the hospital.

 A medical doctor in the hospital, Dickson Okongko, said he attended to Banmeke around noon and had to give him an injection to relieve him of pains.

 He added that he had directed that the officer be taken to a medical lab in Uyo, the state capital, where they could run some quick tests on him before treatment could commence.

On the medical condition of the pastor, Dr. Okongko said he had directed that a x-ray be conducted on him also in the hospital since he complained of chest pain.

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