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EFCC speaks on detained Airforce officers over suspected internet fraud



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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Kaduna Zonal Office has explained the circumstances surround the fisticuffs of its operatives with the Nigerian Airforce, NAF, saying, it was due to arrest and detention of some suspected internet fraudsters in Kaduna.

In a statement issued by Dele Oyewale Head, Media and Publicity of the EFCC Zonal office, he said after arrests were made at a residential Inn and Disney Chicken Eatery, in Barnawa area of Kaduna metropolis, some officers of the Airforce stormed their facility to forcefully release suspects, but which the unruly officers were arrested and detained by the EFCC operatives.

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The statement explained that the EFCC engage the NAF in discussion until their detained officers were released.

The statement read: “Operatives of the Kaduna Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, November 13, 2023 arrested five suspects at a residential Inn and Disney Chicken Eatery, Barnawa, Kaduna following credible intelligence about their alleged internet-related fraud activities.

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“The suspected fraudsters: Favour Itung, Rachael Ande, Zuleiman Haruna, Abubakar Ismaila and Solomon Olobatoke, were arrested without incident.

“However, after the sting operation, six military personnel who witnessed the operation at Disney Chicken Eatery, stormed the Kaduna Command and attempted to forcibly release the arrested fraud suspects.

“They were subdued and detained over the security breach. The intruders are four Air Force personnel: Lawal Abdullahi, Chukwuma Chidi Christian, Alfa Suleiman and Emmanuel Ekwozor, and two students of Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology, AFIT: Chidera Anuba and Joseph Tokula.

“While in detention, there were inter-agency communication and discussions by the leadership of the EFCC and the Nigerian Air Force, NAF to resolve the issues. 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.

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“The EFCC exercised restraint in the face of the provocation and flagrant abuse of power. The Commission 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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