The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has disclosed that personnel from the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), who were granted administrative bail by its Kaduna Zonal Command, will face court charges upon the conclusion of the ongoing investigation.
These NAF personnel, who were released on bail last Friday, had attempted to rescue their colleagues arrested for alleged fraud by the anti-graft agency. The charges they now face are related to the breach of security, as stated by the EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, in a released statement.
Oyewale stated, “Operatives of the Kaduna Zonal Command of the EFCC, on Monday, November 13, 2023, apprehended five suspects at a residential Inn and Disney Chicken Eatery, Barnawa, Kaduna, based on credible intelligence about their alleged internet-related fraud activities. The suspects—Favour Itung, Rachael Ande, Zuleiman Haruna, Abubakar Ismaila, and Solomon Olobatoke—were arrested without incident.
“Following the sting operation, six military personnel, who witnessed the operation at Disney Chicken Eatery, attempted to forcibly release the arrested fraud suspects. These intruders, comprising four Air Force personnel (Lawal Abdullahi, Chukwuma Christian, Alfa Suleiman, and Emmanuel Ekwozor) and two students of the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology (Chidera Anuba and Joseph Tokula), were subdued and detained over the security breach.
“While in detention, inter-agency communication and discussions between the EFCC and the Nigerian Air Force leadership took place to resolve the issues. Unfortunately, dialogue on the release of the combative Air Force personnel broke down on Friday, November 17, 2023, when some unruly NAF Officers stormed the Kaduna Command in a commando-style, seeking to forcefully release their detained colleagues.
“The EFCC exercised restraint in the face of provocation and flagrant abuse of power. The Commission continued to engage with the leadership of the Nigeria Air Force and eventually released the officers to the NAF Provost after they had been duly profiled. The EFCC assures the public that it will continue to carry out its statutory mandate of tackling all cases of economic and financial crimes, without let or hindrance.”