Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday explained the clash between its operatives and Nigerian Air Force personnel in Kaduna.
A statement issued by the commission in Abuja said operatives of the Kaduna Zonal Command of the EFCC on Monday, November 13, 2023, arrested five suspects at a residential Inn and Disney Chicken Eatery, Barnawa, Kaduna, following credible intelligence about their alleged internet-related fraud activities.
It listed the suspected internet fraudsters to include Favour Itung, Rachael Ande, Zuleiman Haruna, Abubakar Ismaila and Solomon Olobatoke, who were arrested without incident.
“However, after the sting operation, six military personnel, who witnessed the operation at Disney Chicken Eatery, stormed the Kaduna Command and attempted to forcibly release the arrested fraud suspects. They were subdued and detained over the security breach.
“The intruders are four Air Force personnel, Lawal Abdullahi, Chukwuma Chidi Christian, Alfa Suleiman and Emmanuel Ekwozor, and two students of Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology, AFIT, Chidera Anuba and Joseph Tokula,” it said.
The statement signed by the Spokesman of the commission, Dele Oyewale, said while in detention, there were inter-agency communication and discussions by the leadership of the EFCC and the Nigerian Air Force, NAF to resolve the issues.
“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,” it said.