BY BARTH EZE
Nigerians across all shades have called on the President to put mechanisms in place to check inter-agency rivalry, which heightened a few days ago, albeit shamefully between the Nigerian Air Force and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The incident in Kaduna with some personnel of the Air Force making their way to enforce the release of their colleagues detained for infractions.
A civil rights activist, Idris Sani of Citizens First, said this is an urgent task before the current government. “It is shameful and government needs to put mechanisms in place to check this as fast as possible. We see men in uniform breaking traffic laws and all those; that is not how other countries conduct their business.
There must be law and order meant for everyone, and the government should put measures in place to ensure this. Nobody is above the law. The case of EFCC and NAF is shameful and should be investigated by the disciplinary arm in the military with culprits identified and punished to send the right signals. If the President moves in this direction, such incidents will stop.”
However the EFCC in a press release explained what transpired. According to them, “operatives of the Kaduna Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, November 13, 2023 arrested five suspects at a residential Inn and Disney Chicken Eatery, Barnawa, Kaduna following credible intelligence about their alleged internet- related fraud activities.
“The suspected fraudsters: Favour Itung, Rachael Ande, Zuleiman Haruna, Abubakar Ismaila and Solomon Olobatoke, were arrested without incident.
“However, after the sting operation, six military personnel who witnessed the operation at Disney Chicken Eatery, stormed the Kaduna Command and attempted to forcibly release the arrested fraud suspects. They were subdued and detained over the security breach.
“The intruders are four Air Force personnel : Lawal Abdullahi, Chukwuma Chidi Christian, Alfa Suleiman and Emmanuel Ekwozor, and two students of Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology, AFIT: Chidera Anuba and Joseph Tokula.
“While in detention, there were inter- agency communication and discussions by the leadership of the EFCC and the Nigerian Air Force, NAF to resolve the issues.
“Unfortunately, dialogue on the release of the combative Air Force personnel broke down on Friday, November 17, 2023 when some unruly NAF Officers stormed the Kaduna Command in a commando- style, to forcefully release their detained colleagues.
“The EFCC exercised restraint in the face of the provocation and flagrant abuse of power. The Commission continued to engage with the leadership of the Nigeria Air Force and released the officers to the NAF Provost after they had been duly profiled.
“The EFCC wishes to assure the public that it will continue to carry out its statutory mandate of tackling all cases of economic and financial crimes, without let or hindrance”, the statement read.