Viral video ‘stage-managed’, EFCC denies brutalising suspects

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has denied that its operatives brutalised or dehumanized suspects during a raid on two nightclubs in Akure, Ondo State.

Operatives of the commission had on June 8 stormed the night clubs and arrested 127 suspected internet fraudsters.

But an eyewitness at one of the raided nightclubs accused the commission’s operatives of tear-gassing, beating, and arresting people.

An X user, Oluyemi Fasipe, shared a video on X showing the alleged dehumanization of innocent women at a club in Akure.

The commission in a statement on Sunday by its Head, Media & Publicity, Dele Oyewale, refuted the allegations.

Oyewale stated that the commission personnel do not use tear gas during sting operations.

The statement partly read, “The Commission wishes to state that no suspect was assaulted, brutalised or subjected to any dehumanising treatment during the Saturday operation. It is also false that tear gas was fired at the crime scene. Those familiar with the Commission’s operations know that EFCC personnel do not use tear gas during sting operations. The officers that carried out the arrests neither came to the scene of crime with canisters of tear gas nor whips, to inflict bodily injuries on suspects.”

He noted that the viral video of two ladies with whip scars might have been stage-managed.

Oyewale added that the commission would carry out forensic analysis on the viral video to establish it was concocted as well as to bring those behind the footage to book.

He said, “It was therefore shocking to be confronted with narratives, particularly from social media about brutalisation, including a trending video of two ladies showing bodies lacerated by whips.

“The commission wants the public to discount this video as it may have been stage-managed to achieve unclear motives. The Commission will subject this video to forensic analysis to establish its falsehood and prepare a case against the purveyors of this distasteful stunt.”

Oyewale maintained that the commission’s operatives conducted the operation professionally.

He said, “The Operatives executed a classical sting operation at two Clubs simultaneously in Akure based on credible intelligence, leading to the arrest of the suspected fraudsters. The operation, in line with the established ground norm for such engagement, was devoid of any incident as the Operatives conducted themselves professionally.”

He also denied the CCTV facility of the club was damaged.

Oyewale said, “It is also important to state that no damage was done to the CCTV facility at the scene of the arrest. The device was removed by a staff of the Club at the instance of operatives of the Commission to preserve the footage for further analysis of the role of each of the arrested suspects in the alleged crime.

“Specifically, one of the arrested suspects, the manager of the Club, who confessed to the crime and directed the removal of the CCTV device for further investigative works by the Commission, is in the custody of the EFCC with the CCTV. He is assisting in the crime investigation.”

He, however, said the profiling of suspects arrested at the scene of the crime had been completed.

“They will be prosecuted accordingly,” he added.

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