Igbo youths condemn EFCC’s arrest of Enugu ‘fraud’ euspects
Contrary to claims by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that it arrested 16 Internet fraud suspects in Enugu, leaders of a coalition of Igbo Youth groups have said the commission swooped on delegates of an emergency convention of Southeast Igbo Youth Leaders/stakeholders.
The youth leaders disclosed that the emergency convention was convoked in Enugu to deliberate on security and stability of the geopolitical zone, maintaining there was no iota of truth in the anti-graft agency’s claims.
EFCC had, in a statement by its Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed that operatives of its Enugu Command arrested 16 suspected Internet fraudsters in three separate sting operations in the Monarch area, New Haven Extension and Castle Majestic Hotel, Ogui Road, Enugu.
“The suspects were arrested, following verified intelligence on their alleged involvement in Internet-related fraud activities. Part of the intelligence indicated that suspected Internet fraudsters were operating from Castle Majestic Hotel, Enugu.
“Based on the intelligence, and weeks of surveillance, a search warrant was executed on the facility on Thursday, September 16, 2021.
In the course of the operation, the operatives encountered a group that identified itself as members of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS and Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo Youth wing.
“The leaders of the group duly identified their members and carried on with their activities. But, the targets of the sting operation were arrested and brought to the Enugu Zonal Command for questioning.
“Among the suspects arrested are Agbo Paschal, Anthony Ogbu Uzochukwu, Ejiofor, Uchenna Ejiofor Chikora, Ezihe Victor, Nnaji Onyedikachi Christian, Eke Ike, Ogbodo Arinze, Ogbodo Ebube, Ogbu Chinedu, Ossai Chinedu and Udey Ifeanyi.”
However, in a communique by the youth leaders, including Tony Ejike (NANS); Williams Nonyelum, (NYCN); Isamade Anita Adaeze, (NYCN); Ambassador Inocent Nduanya, (NYCN); Enemuo Chukwuebuka, (NYCN); Chief Okorie Okechukwu (Ohanaeze Youths); Okoye David, (NANS); Chika Adiele, (Ohananeze Youths); Princewill Ugwu (NYCN) and Ogene Jude Ogbodo, among others, the delegates expressed dismay at the disruption of their convention.
“We were taken aback as to why EFCC Enugu Zonal Office should disrupt our peaceful convention, to the extent of harassing and arresting Youth Leaders, who are attending the convention,” the youth leaders stated.
While condemning EFCC’s action in totality, the youths demanded an unreserved apology to the Youths of Alaigbo for the undeserved ill-treatment.
Major youth organisations of Southeast that attended the convention included, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth wing, National Youth Council of Nigeria(NYCN), Nigerian Youth Congress (NYC), Association of South East Town Union Youth Wing (ASETU) and the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS).
Part of the nine-point communique read: “That we are determined and committed to lasting peace, stability and security in Southeast and Igbo land in general. We shall continue to work in solidarity with the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide and the political class in protecting and promoting Igbo interests in Nigeria.
“That the current instability, as witnessed in the Southeast, is not only as a result of obsolete and crumbling security architecture but also gross mal-administration and leadership failure at all strata of government in the country, as well as the insincerity of the political class.
“The arrest and continued detention without arraignment of our brother Nnamdi Kanu has led to civil unrest and disobedience in the Southeast. We, therefore, call on the Federal Government to make available all necessary logistics needed for the timely and speedy trial of Nnamdi Kanu, which must be fair and in accordance with laid down laws of the country. If not, the Southeast youths will lead a protest to Abuja in that regard. Furthermore, we call on the Federal Government to exhibit similar dexterity shown in Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s case in other regions of the country.”