The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has explained the circumstances surrounding the arrest and detention of some military personnel in its Kaduna facility on Monday.
It wil be recalled that during the raid, the anti-graft agency arrested five suspects at an eatery located in the Barnawa area of Kaduna following intelligence about their alleged internet-related fraud activities.
A statement by the EFCC Spokesman, Dele Oyewale, on Friday, gave the names of the suspects as Favour Itung, Rachael Ande, Zuleiman Haruna, Abubakar Ismaila and Solomon Olobatoke.
The EFCC however expressed concern that after arresting the suspects via what it calls a ‘sting operation’, six military personnel who witnessed the operation, stormed its office in Kaduna and attempted to forcibly release the arrested fraud suspects but were subdued and detained over the security breach.
The anti-graft agency gave the said the intruders include four Air Force personnel: Lawal Abdullahi, Chukwuma Chidi Christian, Alfa Suleiman and Emmanuel Ekwozor, and two students of Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology: Chidera Anuba and Joseph Tokula.
The commission admitted that while in detention, there was inter-agency communication between the leadership of the EFCC and the Nigerian Air Force on how to resolve the issue.
The agency however confessed that dialogue on the release of the combative Airforce men broke on Friday when some NAF Officers attempted to forcefully free the detainees.
“Unfortunately, dialogue on the release of the combative Air Force personnel broke down on Friday, November 17, 2023, when some unruly NAF Officers stormed the Kaduna Command in a commando- style, to forcefully release their detained colleagues.
“The EFCC exercised restraint in the face of the provocation and flagrant abuse of power. The Commission continued to engage with the leadership of the Nigeria Air Force and released the officers to the NAF Provost after they had been duly profiled.
The EFCC wishes to assure the public that it will continue to carry out its statutory mandate of tackling all cases of economic and financial crimes, without let or hindrance,” the statement said.