Economic and Financial Crimes Commission - EFCC.

A civil rights group, the Joint Action Front (JAF), has accused the anti-graft agency, EFCC, of arresting and illegally parading its member, Segun Oladunni, among nine other suspected internet fraudsters.

The group in a statement on Tuesday, by its executive secretary, Abiodun Aremu, said the EFCC operatives ”maliciously paraded” Mr Oladunni where he lives with other co-tenants ”and labelled him as a fraudster without carrying thorough investigation”.

It described the action as ”a high level of character assassination and prejudicial assertion against its member.”

The group said since the arrest, ”the EFCC Investigating team are yet to grant the accused bail after finding nothing incriminating against him despite ‘checking his bank accounts’ and (he) fulfilling all necessary bail conditions yesterday (Monday) morning”.

”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 and (they) gave us a paper of “Provisional Bail” which he signed on Saturday 9th January and 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 EFFC custody.

”But for the same EFCC who have as at (of) Saturday, January 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.”

The EFCC had on Monday announced it arrested ten suspected internet fraudsters in the Alagbado area of Lagos State.

According to the EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, the arrest was carried out ”following credible intelligence received by the commission about their alleged criminal activities”.

The anti-graft agency listed 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.

The EFCC said the items recovered from the suspects at the point of arrest included cars, mobile phones, laptops, passports, a digital video recorder and a cheque-book.

Reacting to the allegations, Mr Uwujaren, told newsmen that ”the suspect has been offered bail, there are things that are required before bail can be properly fulfilled. If fulfilled, I am sure he must have been released on bail. And the matter is still under investigation, not that the investigation has finished.”

The EFCC official also promised to find out if the suspect has been released. He is yet to respond as of press time.

In recent times, many Nigerians have accused the anti-graft agency of arresting Nigerians indiscriminately over alleged internet fraud.

Newsmen in January last year, reported how Nigerians on Twitter launched an attack on the EFCC over its arrests of 89 ‘Yahoo-Boys’ in a night club in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

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