A Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Justice For All Nations (JFAN) has condemned yesterday’s invasion of a club in Ibadan, Oyo State by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), describing it as capable of collapsing business activities in the city.
In a release issued on Sunday, and signed by its Coordinator, Dr. Dada Popoola, JFAN, which called for caution concerning the EFCC operations, questioned the propriety and legality of the EFCC sending its operatives to raid relaxation centres, injuring people, including waiters and whisking them away in handcuffs like common criminals.
The group called on the EFCC Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, to caution his men so as not to turn the respected agency to an object of ridicule and attacks by the public.
JFAN, which said the EFCC was fast taking over the barbaric acts of Police State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), said it was wrong for operatives of the anti-graft commission to have invaded Club 360 in Ibadan last night without any prior invitation of the club owner or any of its customers.
The group accused the EFCC operatives in Ibadan of carrying out the raid with the sole aim of extorting those arrested, adding that if there were reports on allegations of fraud against those that were arrested, there were better ways of arresting them instead of invading a business premises, harassing and arresting innocent Nigerians, including waiters who were only at the club to work and earn a living.
It said the reports available indicated that those arrested by the EFCC operatives were being made to part with huge sums of money to secure their freedom.
The CSO said even though it was not in support of financial crimes, especially internet fraud otherwise known as Yahoo Yahoo, it was important for the EFCC to be cautioned so as not to scare people with genuine source of income away from patronizing the affected club house, thereby collapsing the business.
JFAN said no responsible anti-corruption agency will carry out its operations by raiding clubs and other public places in a commando-like manner to arrest both the guilty and the innocent. Rather, the global best practice is for thorough investigations to have been conducted and prima facie case established before seeking to arrest suspects.