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HomeBusinessOndo governor accuses EFCC operatives of disrupting legitimate businesses in Akure 

Ondo governor accuses EFCC operatives of disrupting legitimate businesses in Akure 

Ondo state governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, accused operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of disrupting “legitimate business activities” in Akure, Ondo state capital. 

His reaction on Sunday night follows the arrest of 127 persons partying on Saturday by operatives of the Ibadan Zonal Directorate of the EFCC. 

The EFCC issued a statement on Saturday alleging the detainees are “internet fraudsters” arrested through credible intelligence in an early morning sting operation at a “Yahoo Party” held simultaneously at Signature and Abah Clubs in Akure, Ondo State. 

While the EFCC promised to charge them to court, the development was greeted with accusations as several Nigerians on social media claimed the anti-graft agency invaded businesses and injured some persons while profiling people as fraudsters. 

Ondo Governor’s reaction 

In his statement posted via his X page at 11:40 pm Saturday, Aiyedatiwa warned the EFCC and other agencies of the federal government against disrupting business activities in his state. 

“In line with the mandate to promote entrepreneurship in the state, I had a meeting with club owners at the Government House, Alagbaka Akure, this evening regarding the unfortunate disruption of legitimate business activities of some clubhouses in Akure by the operatives of the EFCC. 

“It leaves a sour taste in the mouth, but we cannot stop credible intelligence efforts to rid our society of scams and scammers. 

“It must be noted that legitimate business owners must be encouraged at all times. I, therefore, sympathize with entrepreneurs who have suffered one loss or another, and I urge them to keep faith, as every lost revenue will be retrieved without delay. 

“It is our hope that the Government of Ondo State will never leave anyone doing legitimate business stranded or oppressed by any institution of the government,” he tweeted. 

The governor stated that as a government, his administration will never tolerate nefarious activities inimical to the growth and development of our society. 

However, he urged the detainees involved in scamming people to confess to the crime while those who are innocent should be released immediately. 

“We are not ready to condone actions that will pose a security threat to the state or nation. 

“I therefore appeal to those who have a case to answer to clear themselves with the operatives of the EFCC, while those who are innocent should not be made to endure further undue pain,” the governor said. 

EFCC’s right of reply 

Amid the accusations against the EFCC regarding what played out in Akure, Dele Oyewale, the anti-graft agency’s Head, Media and Publicity, maintained that operatives executed a classical sting operation at two Clubs simultaneously in Akure based on credible intelligence, leading to the arrest of the suspected fraudsters.  

He stated that the operation, in line with the established ground norm for such engagement, was devoid of any incident as the operatives conducted themselves professionally. 

He added that the viral social media post showing EFCC operatives brutalizing some persons was “stage-managed” to put the agency in a bad light. 

Oyewale vowed to subject the video to forensic analysis to establish its alleged falsehood and prepare a case against purveyors of “this distasteful stunt.” 

“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 unclear motives.  

“The Commission wishes to state that no suspect was assaulted, brutalised or subjected to any dehumanising treatment during the Saturday operation,” Oyewale stated in a statement on EFCC’s X page on Saturday. 

The EFCC is the federal government’s agency for tracking and prosecuting financial crimes. 

It is expected to do so within the confines of the law, hence, its reliance on litigation for the final determination of its allegations against the accused. 

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