Fatal Stampede at Customs Rice Sale Claims Seven Lives in Lagos

Taiwo Ajayi
3 Min Read

Seven people tragically lost their lives in a stampede that occurred during the purchase of seized rice being sold by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Lagos State.

The incident took place at the customs’ zonal office on Harvey Road, Yaba, Lagos, where a large crowd had gathered for the open sales on Friday.

The customs had initiated the sale of the seized rice to alleviate the economic hardship caused by the high prices of essential food items in the country. Despite the noble intention, the event turned chaotic when dozens of people swarmed the venue, eager to purchase the rice, which was priced at N10,000 per 25kg bag.


The sales began peacefully under the supervision of the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Wale Adeniyi. However, the situation took a tragic turn when a group of armed individuals wearing camouflage gear attempted to force their way into the venue. In the ensuing chaos, a pregnant woman and six others lost their lives in the stampede.

READ ALSO: CBN Raises Customs Duty Exchange Rate To N1, 493.23/$ Despite Previous Slash

Eyewitnesses described scenes of panic and chaos as people struggled to gain entry to the premises. Despite efforts by the customs officials to control the crowd, the situation quickly spiraled out of control.

According to Comfort James, a witness at the scene, the crowd was uncontrollable, and despite the presence of the police, the distribution process was not effectively managed. She recounted how people trampled over each other in their desperation to secure a bag of rice.

Customs’ spokesman, Abdullahi Maiwada, confirmed the incident, stating that while some individuals fainted during the stampede and were rushed to the hospital, he could not confirm any fatalities.

READ ALSO: Surge in Cement Prices Sparks Property Abandonment in Real Estate Market

However, medical professionals later reported that one of the victims, who was brought to a hospital, succumbed to their injuries. Among the casualties was also identified as Mrs. Adebanjo Comfort Funmilayo, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State.

The tragic incident highlights the challenges faced by Nigerians amid rising food prices and underscores the need for better crowd control measures during such events to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

Share this Article
Leave a comment