The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has vowed to prosecute the personnel of the Nigerian Air Force arrested for alleged internet fraud.
The Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Dele Oyewale, revealed the move in a statement issued on Sunday.
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Oyewale said: “The Nigerian Air Force, NAF, personnel released on administrative bail by the Kaduna Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Friday, November 17, 2023 will be charged to court at the conclusion of the ongoing investigation.
“The officers were released to their Service in strict adherence to the bail procedures of the Commission.
“The Commission reiterates the fact that no one is above the law and the due process will be followed in bringing the case to a conclusion.”
The Eagle Online recalls that the NAF personnel were arrested in Kaduna on November 13, 2023 at a residential Inn and Disney Chicken Eatery, Barnawa, Kaduna following credible intelligence about their alleged internet-related fraud activities.
The suspected fraudsters were identified as: Favour Itung, Rachael Ande, Zuleiman Haruna, Abubakar Ismaila and Solomon Olobatoke.
The five accused were arrested without incident.
However, after the sting operation, six military personnel who witnessed the operation at Disney Chicken Eatery allegedly stormed the Kaduna Command of the EFCC attempting to forcibly release the arrested fraud suspects.
Oyewale in a statement said they were subdued and detained over the security breach, adding: “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.”