The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) in the early hours of Saturday raided some spots and lounges in Akure, the Ondo State capital and arrested some suspected internet fraudsters in the process.

The operation, it was gathered, involved several lounges in Alagbaka, resulting in the arrest of about 50 persons suspected to be internet fraudsters also known as Yahoo boys.

Sources say two military personnel were injured in the operation, including the arrest of a soon-to-be-groomed man who was celebrating his bachelor’s eve in one of the lounges.

The raid which reportedly occured at about 1 am, involved EFCC personnel arriving in various vehicles and shooting sporadically.

They also seized vehicles, laptops, high-end smartphones, and other items during the operation.

“They were entering the nightclubs and lounges, tear-gassing people, beating them up and arresting them,” a source said.

“They don’t care who you are, even two soldiers were injured as they shot tear gas canisters inside one of the clubs.

“They also went away with a groom and his friends at a club, he was there for his bash eve, so sad as they profiled everyone as Internet fraudster.”

But the EFCC has said the operation was carried out after a thorough intelligence gathering which led them to the lounge where the alleged fraudsters were staging a party.

The agency’s Spokesman, Dele Oyedele, said it was an early morning stinge operation.

“No soldier was injured. The operation was carried out to round up some internet fraudsters holding a Yahoo party,” he said.

“They were supposed to hold the party on Wednesday, and when they found out that we knew about it, they moved it to Saturday.

“The arrest was a result of diligent operation and we had followed them carefully before we eventually went for the arrest.”

Mr Oyewale added that those arrested were in the agency’s custody in Ibadan and were undergoing profiling.

He noted that detailed briefing would be given after some work was done on the identity of those arrested and the items recovered from them.”

However, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights and representing Ondo East/West Federal constituency, Abiola Makinde, has condemned the raid on some nightclubs and lounges in the Akure the Ondo State capital, in the early hours of Saturday.

Makinde, in a statement signed by his media aide, Moshood Alli, copies of which were made available to journalists on Saturday described the raid as invasion of privacy of innocent citizens of Nigeria.

”The news about the EFCC raid at Signatures club is quite disturbing. I actually spoke with the Head of the team. He informed me that they have their orders and intelligence report. I’ll admonish our people to remain calm while this matter is investigated and resolved,” the statement partly read.

“Absolutely, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), as Nigeria’s premier anti-graft agency, has a critical role in combating financial crimes.
“However, it is imperative that in the pursuit of justice, the EFCC adheres strictly to the principles of human rights.

“Reports of raids leading to violations of personal dignity and privacy, such as the incident involving a former Big Brother Naija housemate, highlights the need for the EFCC to conduct operations with respect for the law and human decency.

“Please note that the agency’s mandate to investigate financial crimes does not exempt it from the obligation to respect human rights, which includes ensuring that raids are conducted legally, with proper warrants, and without undue harm to individuals.

“The concerns raised by various incidents underscore the importance of accountability and the adherence to human rights standards to maintain public trust in law enforcement agencies.

“I’ll activate the State Director of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Mr Sunday Oyewole, to look into the matter. Any violations will be addressed between the two federal agencies”

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