There was a faceoff on Friday between officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and some personnel of the Nigerian Air Force at the Kaduna Zonal Command of the anti-graft agency.
The NAF personnel were said to have stormed the commission’s office in an attempt to release their colleagues earlier arrested by EFCC operatives for allegedly attempting to forcibly release fraud suspects from custody.
The anti-graft agency noted that its operatives arrested five suspects at an eatery located in the Barnawa area of the state on Monday following credible intelligence about their alleged internet-related fraud activities.
A statement released on Friday by EFCC spokesman, Dele Oyewale, gave the names of the suspected fraudsters as Favour Itung, Rachael Ande, Zuleiman Haruna, Abubakar Ismaila and Solomon Olobatoke.
The EFCC, however, noted that after the sting operation, six military personnel who witnessed the operation at the eatery stormed its Kaduna Command and attempted to forcibly release the arrested fraud suspects but were subdued and detained over the security breach.
According to the anti-graft agency, the intruders are four Air Force personnel : Lawal Abdullahi, Chukwuma Christian, Alfa Suleiman and Emmanuel Ekwozor, and two students of Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology, Chidera Anuba and Joseph Tokula.
The EFCC added that while in detention, there were inter-agency communication and discussions by the leadership of the EFCC and the NAF to resolve the matter.
The statement added, “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 xommission 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.”
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