EFCC operatives invaded Ondo nightclubs like robbers, say owners

EFCC operatives invaded Ondo nightclubs like robbers, say owners
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The Ondo State chapter of the Lounge and Club Owners Association has called on the state and federal government to investigate the raid by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission operatives on a nightclub and a hotel in Akure, the state capital.

Operatives of the commission, on Saturday, stormed the nightclubs and arrested about 127 youths who were suspected to be internet fraudsters.

The suspects were apprehended in an early morning raid on Saturday, June 8, 2024, at simultaneous parties held in the state capital.

According to an EFCC statement on Saturday, credible intelligence indicated the party was initially scheduled for Wednesday, June 5, but was postponed to Saturday in an attempt to evade the commission’s security and intelligence networks.

Speaking with journalists in Akure on Monday, the chairman of the association in the state, Mr Abayomi Ajepe, disclosed that the anti-graft commission operatives allegedly stormed the premises of the affected night clubs in a commando-like manner, like armed robbers, and vandalised property worth millions of naira during the sting operation.

Ajepe also noted that many of the customers and guests of the invaded hotel, including a new couple, were embarrassed as the operative was forcing the door open on the guests, adding that the incident had negatively affected the hospitality business in the state as many of their customers were afraid of lodging in their hotels.

He said, ” What we experienced on Saturday we never expected of it, because Akure is a very peaceful community, we are not too happy, the incident happened around 1:45 am on Saturday morning and personally I drove to the scene to witness what was going on and on getting there it was barbaric so I have to turn back because I don’t want to get hurt.

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“I was on the phone, making calls to authorities but it was later we discovered that these people came from the Ibadan EFCC office because initially, we thought they were armed robbers. So we are telling the whole world that we are not too happy with what happened.

“They took away the cameras, phones, CCTVs, along with about 127 people and some of them were still there. So why they are denying their operations here in Akure? We want the government to check-mate this unacceptable attitude in our community, government needs to come to our aides.

On the next action to be taken on the matter, the chairman said the association was still consulting their lawyers, either to take legal actions on the issues, lamenting that there had been no business after the incident happened.

Expressing his displeasure about the incident, the manager of the affected night club, the Signatures Elixir, Mr Ayo Abass-Akinwande, said, “At about 1:30 am on Saturday, June 8, 2024, the men of EFCC came into our premises. They were about 40 of them and they came with about 10 unregistered Toyota buses. The only thing that could be used to identify them was their red jackets and the guns.

He said, “After gaining access to our premises, they rounded everybody up and instructed them to lie down on the floor. Using snooker sticks to beat people to comply, Both male and female customers were dealt with mercilessly. Other members of their team went into the club and rounded everyone up, releasing tear gas in the process. We were lucky to have adequate first aid materials on the premises that were used by our staff to rescue some of the customers who had various forms of medical emergencies. The CCTV engine room was completely turned upside down and the CCTV engine was taken away.”

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Similarly, the Chairman/CEO of Alba Royale Hote, Mr  Ayo Alabi, confirmed that a lot of things were destroyed in the hotel by the operatives.

“I went there in the morning and I saw the massive damage, I was told that all the guests were seriously dealt with, they took away our CCTV engine, they never invited us, we never had any issue with them and we have evidence on how they carried out the operations,” Alabi lamented.

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