EFCC Operatives Molests FUTA Female Student, Invades Three School Lodges – Students Union Demands Immediate Release Of Victims

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The Students Union Government (SUG) of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Ondo State in Nigeria’s Southwest region, has condemned in strongest terms, the midnight invasion of off-campus students hostels and arrest of a yet-to-identified number of students by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Daily Reporters learnt that the operatives stormed students’ lodges around Orita Obele Road block at about 2am, broke into rooms, and arrested the students.

It was gathered that many of the students first thought the anti-graft agency operatives were kidnappers until much later, when they found that they were EFCC officials.

They were said to be from the Benin Zonal office of the commission.

Reacting to the incident, the FUTA Student Union Government in a statement signed by its President, Olayemi Oluwasoromidayo and other leaders, described the invasion and arrest as unlawful and an insult to the EFCC chairman who had banned midnight invasion and arrest by the operatives of the anti-graft agency.

The statement read, “We regret to inform you of an ugly incident that happened within our school Off-Campus community. At 3:00 am on the 14th February, 2024, some agents of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) broke into more than 3 school lodges at the South Gate community and made unlawful arrest of our students, destroyed properties, molested a female student and inhumanly inflicted injuries on some other students.

“Recall that On 1st November, 2023, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Executive Chairman of the Commission, directed that sting operations at night time be stopped in all the Commands of the EFCC.

“To this effect, all operations at night are tagged as illegal and not directives from the commands of EFCC but these agents of EFCC have breached the directives of their chairman and also trampled on the Right to life which our students possess as Nigerians.

“While we are making immense efforts to recover our students back on campus, we want to state that this sudden arrest is unlawful, illegal and an insult to the Executive Chairman of EFCC whose directive was breached.

“We have disheartening security issues that the Federal Government needs to help us attend to but EFCC decided to add to our security threats. Again, Nigeria has failed us.

“It is imperative for all students to remain calm, sober and cooperate with us during this struggle. We understand that this situation may raise concerns, and we will strive to keep you informed of any developments.”

Calling for calm, the students leaders said, “Your safety and well-being are our top priorities, and we will fight diligently to ensure a smooth and orderly process throughout this investigation.”

The incident is coming a few months after EFCC chairman, Ola Olukoyede directed operatives of the commission to stop sting operations at night.

“In line with the newly-revised procedures on arrest and bail of suspects by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Executive Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Ola Olukoyede has directed that sting operations at night time be stopped in all the Commands of the EFCC.

“He gave the directive in Abuja on Wednesday, November 1, 2023, in reaction to the arrest of 69 suspected internet fraudsters by operatives of the Ibadan Zonal of the Commission in Ile-Ife, Osun State. Already, many of the suspects duly profiled by the Command have been released, while profiling of suspects yet unreleased will be completed, without further delay.

“The Commission wishes to assure the public that it will not relent in its adherence to the rule of law, in the exercise of its mandate,” Dele Oyewale, Head, Media & Publicity of the commission had said in a statement.

In another statement, EFCC also announced a review of its arrest and bail procedure to “adhere to the rule of law and international best practices in the treatment of suspects.”

The anti-graft agency barred the detention of suspects beyond the constitutionally allowed period without a remand warrant.

The commission directed operatives to ensure “premium attention is focused on the rights of suspects, especially where arrest, detention and bail issues are concerned.”

The commission also ordered its officers against demanding “professional certificates of sureties as a bail condition.”

“Every demand for international passports of suspects would henceforth be exercised with discretion, depending on the nature of the case, personality and country of residence of the suspect,” the statement had read.

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