THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday says it arrested 29 men who are suspected internet fraudsters otherwise known as ‘yahoo-boys’ .
The suspects were arrested at Akoto Estate, Elebu area of Ibadan, Oyo state during an early morning raid carried out by operatives of the Commission.
According to the anti-graft agency, the team had earlier conducted series of surveillance, working on strings of intelligence gathered on the activities of the suspected ‘Yahoo Boys’.
It stated further that the preliminary investigation was found to be credible, thus lead to the sting operation.
Some of the items recovered from the suspects include eight exotic cars, costly phones, and laptops, as well as documents used for their illicit dealings.
EFCC, however, said the accused persons would be charged to court as soon as it rounds up investigations on the culprits.
In a related development, the EFCC has also arrested a traditional ruler, Ibrahim Rijiya for alleged involvement in the diversion of three trailer-load of 1, 800 bags of fertilizer as well as a truck-load of farming herbicides belonging to rice farmers in Gummi Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
Rijiya, the EFCC noted, connived with two other suspects, Aminu Musa, the Council storekeeper and Abdullahi Bashir to perpetrate the crime. The traditional ruler also doubled as Chairman of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in the local government.
The farm inputs were later sold each bag at N3,000 including other farm materials.
The EFCC had received a petition from representatives of seven different groups of rice farmers, alleging that sometimes in July 2018, the Federal Government approved and disbursed 12 trucks of fertilizer and herbicides, on loan to 83 cooperative groups in Gummi and that no member of the association fully collected all the items as approved by the government.
All efforts made by the Gummi Chapter of RIFAN to get the items back proved abortive.
Investigations by the Commission revealed that Rijiya conspired with Musa to divert and sell the three trailers of fertilizer and a truckload of herbicide to Bashir at the cost of N17.1million and shared the money among themselves.
The suspects, according to the Commission, later confessed to their roles in the crime, and the three trailers of the fertilizer have been recovered from the accused.
“Efforts are in top-gear to recover the diverted herbicide. They will soon be arraigned in court,” EFCC said.
Olugbenga is an Investigative Reporter with The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at email@example.com. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin