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‘We thought they were armed robbers’ — Ondo club owners speak on EFCC raid

EFCC warns against unauthorised use of its uniform, logo in films EFCC warns against unauthorised use of its uniform, logo in films
EFCC warns against unauthorised use of its uniform, logo in films

The Ondo State Lounge and Club Owners Association (OSLACOA) has condemned the raid of clubs in Akure, the state capital, by operatives of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

On Saturday, EFCC operatives raided two clubs simultaneously in Akure and arrested 127 suspected internet fraudsters.

Since the raid by the operatives of the agency, there have been reports on social media alleging assault and theft by the EFCC officials during the exercise.

There were also allegations that the operatives destroyed the CCTV devices in the clubs.

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Reacting to the allegations, the anti-graft agency said the operation was devoid of any incident as the EFCC operatives “conducted themselves professionally”.

On Monday, some youths took to the streets in some parts of Akure to protest against the alleged assault by EFCC operatives.

The protesters demanded the unconditional release of those arrested at the clubs.

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‘WE THOUGHT THEY WERE ARMED ROBBERS’

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Abayomi Ajipe, chairman of OSLACOA, said the club owners initially thought the EFCC operatives were armed robbers.

Ajipe said the club owners are still consulting with their legal representatives on whether to take legal steps on the issue.

“We never expected what we experienced on Saturday because Akure is a very peaceful community. We are not happy,” the chairman said.

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“Initially, we thought they were armed robbers until I made calls to authorities and I was told they came from Ibadan.

“It is quite unfortunate that they took away the cameras, phones, CCTVs, along with about 127 people.

“We want the government to check-mate this unacceptable attitude in our community and come to our aid.

“We are still consulting our lawyers, either to take legal actions on the issue. Since the incident happened, no business activity again.”

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Speaking on behalf of Signatures Elixir, Ayo Abass Akinwande said immediately the EFCC operatives stormed the club, they asked customers to lie down while using snooker sticks to enforce compliance.

Akinwande alleged that the EFCC operatives “mercilessly” beat up customers while releasing teargas canisters.

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“After gaining access into our premises, they rounded everybody up and instructed them to lie down on the floor, using snooker sticks to beat people to comply,” he said.

“Both male and female customers were dealt with mercilessly. Other members of their team went into the club and rounded everyone up and releasing teargas in the process.

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“We were lucky to have adequate first aid materials in the premises that were used by our staffs to rescue some of the customers that had various forms of medical emergencies.

“While they identify some of our staffs and allowed them to go, others were still beaten after identification. The CCTV engine room was completely turned upside down and the CCTV engine was taken away.”

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