EFCC raid: Aiyedatiwa demands inquiry as Ondo hoteliers count losses

The Ondo State Governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, has sympathised with the owners of the nightclubs raided by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Saturday.

The operatives of the commission, at the weekend, stormed the nightclubs located in Akure, the state capital and arrested 127 youths suspected to be internet fraudsters.

Governor Aiyedatiwa, who met with the members of the Lounge and Club Owners Association, Ondo State chapter, on Sunday evening, said he had demanded credible information about the incident.

He called on the innocent people affected by the operation to seek redress while those with cases to answer should be allowed to defend themselves.

“I have been in communication with top security agencies to get credible reports on the incident and I will intervene wherever necessary,” he said.

The state chairman of the association, Mr Abayomi Ajepe, who spoke with journalists in Akure, on Monday, alleged that operatives of the anti-graft commission stormed the premises of the affected night clubs in a commando-like manner, like armed robbers and vandalised the property worth millions of the naira during the sting operation.

Ajepe noted that many of the customers and guests of the invaded hotels, including a new couple, were embarrassed as the operatives forced the doors of the rooms open.

He added that the incident had negatively affected the hospitality business in the state as many of their customers were afraid of lodging.

“What we experienced on Saturday was never expected, because Akure is a very peaceful community. We were not too happy, the incident happened around 1:45 am on Saturday and I drove to the scene to witness what was going on on getting there, it was barbaric so I had to turn back because I didn’t want to get hurt.

“I was on the phone, making calls to authorities but later we discovered that these people came from the Ibadan EFCC office, we initially thought they were armed robbers. So we are here telling the whole world that we are not too happy with what happened,” he said.

He added that the commission took away the cameras, phones, and CCTVs, along with 127 people, with some of them still in custody.

We want the government to check-mate this unacceptable attitude on our community, the government needs to come to our aid,” he said.

On the next action to be taken on the matter, the chairman said the association was still consulting its lawyers, lamenting that there had been no business after the incident happened.

Earlier, some youths staged a protest in Akure against the raid by the EFCC.

The scores of protesters, who converged on the capital city and chanted various solidarity songs, called on the anti-graft commission to release those arrested unconditionally.

There was traffic logjam on the popular Oba Adesida Road and the Governor’s Office road, Alagbaka, Akure, due to the protest.

The EFCC, while confirming the arrest of the suspects by its personnel from the Ibadan Zonal Directorate, denied none of the suspects were brutalized.

The commission, in a statement by its Head of Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, refuted the allegations, adding also that its personnel did not use tear gas during the sting operation.

“The commission wishes to state that no suspect was assaulted, brutalised or subjected to any dehumanising treatment during the Saturday operation.

“It is also false that tear gas was fired at the crime scene. Those familiar with the commission’s operations know that EFCC personnel do not use tear gas during sting operations.

“The officers that carried out the arrests neither came to the scene of the crime with canisters of neither tear gas nor whips to inflict bodily injuries on suspects,” the statement noted.

Credit: Punch

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