Ondo Youths Protest EFCC Raid, Arrests of 127 People

According to reports, a protest was staged in Akure, Ondo State today after the arrest of 127 persons at two nightclubs by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Officials of the commission made the arrests during a raid on both nightclubs on Saturday, claiming that the youths were involved in internet fraud. Some of the arrested persons reportedly included a man celebrating his bachelor’s eve with his friends at one of the nightclubs.

Vehicles, telephones, and laptops belonging to the fun seekers were confiscated by the security personnel during the early morning sting operation.

This culminated in the protest this morning, where protesters chanted solidarity songs and called for the unconditional release of the arrested individuals. They marched to the governor’s office in Alagbaka to show their grievances, resulting in traffic congestion on Oba Adesida and the governor’s office roads.

One of the leaders of the protest, Tobi Akinnubi, said, “In Nigeria now, youths cannot use phones, laptops, they can’t drive cars because EFCC sees them as fraudsters. Our ladies have been taken away; did they commit any offense? This is purely brutality. Enough is enough, and we must put an end to this.”

The protesters also complained of brutality by EFCC personnel during the night raids.

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The EFCC, however, confirmed the arrest of the suspects but emphasized that none of them were dehumanized or brutalized. Their statement partly read, “The Commission wishes to state that no suspect was assaulted, brutalized, or subjected to any dehumanizing 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 tear gas nor whips to inflict bodily injuries on suspects.”

The governor of the state, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, arranged a meeting with club owners in the state, where the affected owners aired their grievances and reported vandalization of their facilities.

The governor urged them to collect records of all losses incurred during the raids to present a case to the appropriate authorities. He also highlighted that there is no smoke without fire and that the EFCC must have been acting on credible intelligence while carrying out the raids. However, he encouraged any wronged victims to pursue redress, while those who have cases to answer should be allowed to defend themselves.

He added that he is in contact with top security agencies to get reports about the matter and promised intervention where necessary.

Meanwhile, the police are appealing to the protesters to calm down and leave the matter to the government to resolve.

Techrectory with Agency Report.

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See also Leatherback Targets Growth As EFCC Drops Fraud, Misconduct Allegations

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