The Joint Action Front (JAF) has faulted officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the arrest of one of its members, Segun Oladunni, for alleged Internet fraud.
JAF General Secretary, Abiodun Aremu, in a statement described as reckless, malicious and defamatory a news report by a national television station showing how Oladunni was paraded with other co-tenants where he lives and labelled as a fraudster.
The group also demanded an immediate and unconditional retraction of the story.
The statement read, “The malicious report read as follows: Ten suspected internet fraudsters have been arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). In a statement issued on Monday by EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, the suspects were apprehended in an early morning operation in the Alagbado area of Lagos State on Saturday. Their arrest, Uwujaren said, followed credible intelligence received by the commission about their alleged criminal activities.
“The anti-graft agency listed the suspects as Jonathan Daniel Adebayo, Lawal Waidi Seun, Adeosun Joseph, Taiwo Gbemileke, Oseni Omotayo, Emmanuel Fakiyesi, Rasheed Ogunlana, Oladunni Segun, Sowunmi Rotimi and Efetobore Wilfred. Items recovered from the suspects at the point of arrest included cars, mobile phones, laptops, passports, a digital video recorder and a chequebook. According to EFCC spokesman, the suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.
“The fact at our disposal: On Saturday, January 9, 2021, the fiancée of Comrade Segun called to inform me that some armed men suspected to be (from the) Department of State Services stormed the residence at No 14, Celestial Street, Isoto Road, Command, Agbado, Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area, Lagos State and arrested almost all the occupants in the block of flats, with the exception of the landlord.
“Segun's fiancée further reported that when the armed men entered their flat, they took their phones (belonging to Segun and her [three phones]), his laptop and passport and took them both to join the other arrested co-tenants; but that she was later released outside the premises but her phones (2) were not released.
“On getting the report from Segun's fiancée, we informed a lawyer friend – ACIS-M about the development and efforts were made to locate where Comrade Segun was taken to, which we later discovered to be the EFCC office at 7A Okotie Eboh Street, Ikoyi. When we interacted with Comrade Segun yesterday afternoon at the said EFCC office, he said there was nothing the EFCC Investigating Team could press against him as charges, despite checking his bank accounts. They gave us a paper of "Provisional Bail" which he signed on Saturday 9th January and was awaiting his lawyer to respond to the conditions for the bail listed. Were the bail conditions to have been fulfilled by yesterday morning, Comrade Segun would have been out of EFCC custody.
“But for the same EFCC who has as at Saturday concluded on a provisional bail for him, having found no charge to press against him, to have rushed to the media, lumped Comrade Segun along with other arrested co-tenants, smacks of a high level of character assassination and prejudicial assertion!
“As a first step, we demand immediate and unconditional retraction of this condemnable act of infamy by the EFCC and Channels TV!”