Despite ban on sting operations, EFCC confirms arrest of 14 FUTA students in midnight raid

IN defiance of its ban on night operations, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), apprehended 14 students of the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) during a midnight raid.

According to reports and viral videos, the raid, conducted in secrecy during the early hours, targeted student residences in different locations within the state.

The ICIR observed in the viral videos how the operatives forced their entry into some buildings believed to be students’ private hostels.

Some students, who narrated their ordeals via the University Students’ Union X page, stated that they had thought they were under siege by thieves or kidnappers when the incident happened, with a female student saying she was naked when they forced their way in.

Also a statement by the students’ body confirmed that the raid took place at on Wednesday, February 14, revealing that the operatives “destroyed properties, molested a female student and inhumanly inflicted injuries on some other students”.

The union also claimed that a female student was molested and some students sustained bodily injuries.

Confirming the arrest via a statement posted on its X handle, EFCC said the arrest was made by EFCC operatives of the Benin Zonal Command.

This was as the agency noted that the undergraduates were arrested alongside 19 others in the early hours of Wednesday, February 14, 2024, for suspected internet crimes.

The statement read, “The suspects were arrested at different residential locations within the Akure metropolis following intelligence on their alleged nefarious activities.

“Specifically, the sting operation that yielded their arrest was a response to strident calls to the EFCC by neighbours and parents around the locations, to save their children from being lured into internet-related activities by the suspects.”



    While adding that the agency recovered 10 exotic cars, phones, laptops and one motorbike, it said the suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

    However, this incident came about three months after the EFCC chairman Ola Olukoyede, ordered that sting operations at night be stopped under all the commands of the commission.

    Olukoyede, in November 2023, ordered that sting operations at night be stopped following the arrest of 70 students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, in a midnight raid on off-campus hostels.

    The arrest led to both offline and online outrage from concerned Nigeria and subsequently resulted in the ban of the midnight raid by the operatives.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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