Following the “unlawful” arrest of 69 students of the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU and the eventual release of 58 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the students union of the institution on behalf of other students are demanding a public apology from the anti-graft agency.
Recall that the commission had in a raid in the wee hours of Wednesday, whisked away some students of the institution living in some hostels outside the school campus.
This spurred a protest which followed suit at dawn by their colleagues who stormed the zonal office of the EFCC located at Iyaganku, Ibadan enmasse.
Speaking to newsmen, sources said the students were driven by the EFCC from the university environment in Ile-Ife, Osun, to the commission’s office in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Sources also revealed that the students mobile devices including phones and laptops and their cars were also seized.
Meanwhile, the students’ demonstration coupled with the intervention of the school management, eventually led to the release of 58 students same Wednesday while 11 remained in custody of the EFCC.
Speaking to newsmen, OAU Public Relations Officer, Abiodun Olanrewaju, who confirmed the release of the students to newsmen said, “Fifty eight of the students were released to us. The remaining 11 of them have cases to answer.”
However, things took a turn on Thursday when checks on the verified Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram pages of the EFCC showed that the previous posts on the arrest of the suspects could not be found.
In the deleted posts, the EFCC had on Wednesday said, “They (the 69 suspects) were arrested on Wednesday, November 1, 2023, at the Oduduwa Estate area of Ile-Ife, Osun State, following actionable intelligence on their suspected involvement in fraudulent Internet-related activities. Credible intelligence linked the Oduduwa Estate with activities of suspected internet fraudsters.”
The agency disclosed further that, “The suspects have made useful statements to the EFCC and will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.”
Meanwhile, on Thursday, a statement signed by the Students’ Union officials, the students are demanding an apology from the EFCC while stating that they should clear the names of their members.
According to the students union, efforts were ongoing to seek the release of the remaining 11.
The statement read in part;
“Also, with the demand for the release of our students, the leadership of the union is making concerted efforts with legal practitioners to guarantee the protection of Great Ife students within and off campus against the decadent actions of these misguided law enforcement agencies.
“We also demand that the EFCC tenders a public release clearing the names of the unlawfully incarcerated (students) of the unfounded allegations published on their media handles and broadcast to the whole country in which the earlier published posts had already been pulled down across all their social media platforms,” the statement jointly signed by the union’s president, Abbas Ojo; Secretary General, Akinboni Opeyemi and PRO, Omisore Elijah, partly said.
Speaking further, the union’s PRO, Omisore, who interfaced with newsmen said, “We want the EFCC to apologise and clear the names of the students (earlier published).”
Omisore said that the leadership of the union and other students were still at the EFCC office in Ibadan, where efforts, including legal ones, were being explored to ensure the release of the 11 detained persons.See Dollar(USD) to Naira Black Market Exchange Rate Today!