The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has denied using teargas and whips for the sting operation it undertook on Saturday in Akure the Ondo State capital where 127 suspects were arrested.

The commission’s operatives had stormed two night clubs in the city at about 1am on Saturday after it received Intel that some internet fraudsters also known as Yahoo boys were staging a night party.

There had however been backlashes from politicians and well meaning citizens of the state, criticizing the methods employed by the agency during the raid.

The Commission was accused of using teargas and whips to brutalise the suspects and those they encountered at the clubs.

But Spokesman for the agency, Dele Oyewale, in a press statement on Sunday, denied the allegations.

Read full statement below:

EFCC’s  Akure Arrests :  Setting the Records Straight

 Arising from the misinformation and distortion of facts about the arrest of 127 suspected internet fraudsters by operatives of the Ibadan Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Saturday,  June 8, 2024,   it becomes imperative to clearly present  the true facts of the operation. 

The Operatives executed a classical sting operation at two Clubs simultaneously in Akure based on credible intelligence, leading to the arrest of the suspected fraudsters. The operation, in line with the established ground norm for such engagement, was devoid of any incident as the Operatives conducted themselves professionally.

It was therefore shocking to be confronted with narratives particularly from the social media about brutalisation, including a trending video of two ladies showing bodies lacerated by whips. The Commission wants the public to discountenance this video as it may have been stage managed to achieve motives that are unclear. The Commission will subject this video to forensic analysis to establish its falsehood and prepare a case against purveyors of this distasteful stunt.

The Commission wishes to state that no suspect was assaulted, brutalised or subjected to any dehumanising 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 operation. The officers that carried out the arrests neither came to the scene of crime with canister of tear gas nor whips, to inflict bodily injuries on suspects. 

It is also important to state that no damage was done to the CCTV facility at the scene of the arrest.  The device was removed by a staff of the Club at the instance of operatives of the Commission to preserve the footages for further analysis of the role of each of the arrested suspects in the alleged crime. Specifically, one of the arrested suspects, the manager of the Club, who confessed to the crime and directed the removal of the CCTV device for further investigative works by the Commission,  is in the custody of the EFCC with the CCTV.  He is assisting in the investigation of the crime.  

It is needful to state, for the umpteenth time, that the Standard Operating Procedure of the EFCC foreclose the use of brute force or unprofessional conduct in the course of any operation.  The EFCC is a civilized law enforcement agency with optimal respect for human dignity and the rule of law. 

Meanwhile, profiling of suspects arrested at the scene of the crime has been completed.  They will be prosecuted accordingly.

Dele Oyewale

Head, Media & Publicity

June 9, 2024

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