Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday sealed the multi-billion naira Enugu Park and Shopping Mall, making it the second time the commission was carrying out such action in few months.
According to THISDAY checks, operatives of the commission were said to have come from Abuja headquarters, stormed the construction site and chased away all the workers. The project is almost due for inauguration.
The incident happened early morning as workers were settling down for the dayâ€™s work.
The Head of Public Affairs of EFCC in South East zone, Mr. Chris Oluka, confirmed the incident when contacted.
He said the managers of the building flouted the directive of EFCC on the construction of the building.
Accordingly, the officers from Abuja raided the mall and chased away workers who were recently recruited preparatory to the official opening of business next Friday.
â€œYes, our men went there to disperse them because they flouted our instructions. We had sealed the premises and wrote â€˜Under EFCC Investigationâ€™, but they covered the write-up with paint,â€ he said.
Oluka recalled that the commission had earlier in the year sealed the mall, which is located beside the Enugu State House of Assembly, by writing the inscription â€˜Under EFCC Investigationâ€™.
However, that did not deter the managers as they continued with construction work at the site.
The Zonal Head of Operations in EFCC South East, Mr. Johnson Babalola, had during an interaction with journalists at Enugu Press Centre recently said it was not against any known law for the owners to go ahead with construction work.
Babalola had explained that since the property was not yet under permanent forfeiture to the government, â€œconstruction work can still go on while investigations continue.â€
But speaking further on the matter, Oluka said allowing the business to operate in the building could jeopardise investigations.
â€œI do not have much to say about this because the officers that dispersed the workers this morning came from Abuja,â€ Oluka said.
On the invitation of the managers of the mall to the zonal office of the commission after the workers were dispersed, Oluka said it should not be misconstrued as an arrest.
â€œThey were invited to come and explain why they did what we told them not to do,â€ he added.