The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has conducted a series of raids on some hotels in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, for suspected internet fraudsters during which its operatives opened fire on some lodgers.
In a report by Peoples Gazette, eyewitnesses said the armed EFCC officials, who operated like armed robbers, stormed Abeokuta in the early hours of September 13 in Toyota Hilux buses and made their way to at least three hotels and two nightclubs.
The places are identified as; Dakdat Hotel, Cecilia Suites, and the government-run Mitros Residences.
Also, Adesba Night Club and Royal Mandarin Club were said to have been attacked by the operatives who were on the trails of suspected “Yahoo Boys” around the city.
The report stated that the officials shot at a suspect who had since been hospitalised.
Another suspect broke an arm after jumping through a fence more than 15 metres high.
A witness was quoted as saying, “My cousin was shot because he tried to escape from the hotel and we quickly drove him to a hospital where he was briefly treated before we moved him to Ilaro for full recovery. It was really bad because they operated like armed robbers and they were very fast with their activities.”
Another witness said electricity was disconnected before one of the hotels was raided and officers did not knock before pulling down doors, breaking into rooms and violating the privacy of both men and women.
A lady said, “They threw everybody into darkness before raiding our hotel. One of them with afro seized my iPhone and used the torch to check my private parts before dipping in one of his fingers.
“I couldn’t say anything because I knew that my fiancée is a suspect and I warned him but he didn’t listen to me and we are getting married soon.”
It was gathered that over 30 cars were seized at Mitros alone, which witnesses linked to an infamous Internet fraud suspect who was celebrating his birthday at the facility.
Witnesses also said the EFCC agents wanted to enter Conference Hotel, Abeokuta, but realised that its proprietor, Gbenga Daniel, was in the ruling All Progressives Congress and subsequently backed away after initially parking outside the hotel.
The EFCC zonal office in Ibadan swiftly moved to control information out of the controversial operation by circulating statements to its media partners on Monday night, saying 56 suspects were arrested without mentioning that some hotel guests were shot at or dropped.
The zone did not return a request, seeking comments about whether or not they were aware that officers opened fire or violated women during the operation.
SaharaReporters had some weeks ago reported that Dorathy Bachor, a reality TV show star, expressed frustration at how unsafe it was to be a Nigerian after EFCC officials barged into her home.
However, in its usual charade, the EFCC issued a statement giving shallow reasons for the forceful entry into her apartment.