Thursday, June 8, 2023

After nocturnal raid of undressed Nigerians, EFCC apologises, presents champagne to white man for breach of privacy

EFCC operatives presented wines and souvenirs to a foreigner for wrongly invading his privacy during a raid.

• August 25, 2021
Abdukrasheed Bawa
EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa

In an absurd move to atone for barging into peoples’ privacy without recourse, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has presented an “apology gift pack”, containing champagne wine and other souvenirs to an Italian.

The high-handed anti-graft body made the gesture to the foreigner after invading his privacy and finding nothing incriminating to nail him, his lawyer Akeem Fadun said.

According to Mr Fadun the unnamed Italian had been apprehended by officers of the anti-graft body after they invaded his hotel room in Ibadan. 

“Around 5:00 a.m. on Monday, the door to his hotel room was thrown open with a loud thud, heavily armed men shouted at them to raise their hands and they were dragged out almost naked along with several others from the hotel and driven to the EFCC head office in Ibadan,” Mr Fadun wrote on Facebook

Mr Fadun added that his client’s phone and belongings was searched by the operatives of the EFCC and after nothing was found, a gift was presented to compensate for the traumatic experience.

The apology “gift” contained two bottles of wine, an EFCC branded wall clock and a card apologising for their actions. 

On Monday, the body put out a statement saying it had arrested 37 people in Ibadan and Oyo for Internet fraud. The Ibadan zonal office confirmed the arrest of the suspected fraudsters.

This new development comes as Nigerians are rallying against the Gestapo-style raids carried out by the anti-graft body since Abdulrasheed Bawa was appointed as chairman of the commission.

On Monday, armed EFCC operatives invaded the Lekki residence of Big Brother Naija Lockdown housemate, Dorathy Bachor. The reality TV star took to Instagram to narrate how the EFCC broke into her residence around 5:00 a.m., saying they were after a suspected Internet fraudster.

The EFCC confirmed the incident, claiming its operatives from the Lagos command was “acting on verified intelligence, executed a Search Warrant at a block of flats located in the Lekki area of Lagos on Monday, 23rd August, 2021 during which nine internet fraud suspects were arrested.”  The body also urged Nigerians to stop resisting arrests, despite the invasions being carried out after hours. 

In July, armed EFCC operatives broke into Parktonian Hotel in Lekki, Lagos, gaining entry into the occupants’ rooms by seizing the master cards from hotel staff at gunpoint.

Some of the occupants during that raid were reportedly naked under the covers as the operatives interrogated them. 

“The officers broke into my hotel room as I was sleeping,” a victim told Peoples Gazette. “The incident that played out was just too traumatic for me to narrate.” 

The EFCC, through its spokesman Wilson Uwajaren, doubled down on their actions, claiming that the body had observed naked women were being used as shields during raids. He argued that the sudden and forceful barge ins were necessary to prevent destruction of evidence by suspects.

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