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EFCC raid: ODHA kicks

By Tola Gbadamosi & Josephine Oguntoyinbo

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The Ondo State House of Assembly has voiced its strong disapproval of the recent raid conducted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on several nightclubs in Akure, the state capital.

The lawmakers, who condemned the operation process of EFCC personnel, called for an immediate investigation.

The raid, which took place over the weekend, sparked widespread outrage among citizens and lawmakers alike.

During the plenary presided over by the Speaker, Olamide Oladiji, the Assembly emphasised that while the fight against corruption is crucial, it must not come at the expense of the fundamental rights of innocent citizens.

The Majority Leader, Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi, who moved a motion for the matter to be discussed on the floor of the house, called for a thorough investigation into the incident and urged the EFCC to adopt refined and lawful strategies in their operations.

Other lawmakers who lent their voices to the incident described the anti-graft agency’s move as unacceptable and emphasised that EFCC must carry out its duties with respect for the rule of law and the rights of citizens, and requested a public apology for all citizens affected by the raid.

The Speaker noted that while supporting efforts to combat corruption within the legal framework, the Assembly remains committed to upholding the rights and dignity of the citizens.

While acknowledging the efforts of the State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, for his quick intervention, the house sympathized with victims and appealed to youth to shun any act capable of disrupting peace and harmony in the State.

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The House, however, called on the anti-graft agency to ensure that only those who are guilty are prosecuted and ordered the release of other innocent citizens immediately.

“For us, as the foremost lawmaking institution in Ondo State, we remain committed to ensuring all actions and reactions are guided strictly by the law.

“While we recognise and assert the mandate of the EFCC in combating all forms of financial crimes and fraudulent acts, we believe this can be done without allegedly resulting in trampling on civil rights or inflicting physical injuries on people. The alleged destruction of business entities also falls below expected procedures of engagement of the EFCC”, the Assembly said.

Meanwhile, Ondo State Lounge and Club and Hotel Owners Association (OSLACOA) also kicked against the invasion of their business premises by the EFCC personnel.

The OSLACOA at a press conference held by the Chairmen, Abayomi Ajepe, Prince Ayo Alabi, and Ayo Abass-Akinwande the plan of the anti-graft agency to raid their clubs and lounges was to cripple their businesses and ruin nightlife in Akure, the state capital, and other parts of the state.

Alabi alleged that the anti-graft agency took away expensive drinks from their bar, destroyed the CCTV cameras, and brutalized customers who came to enjoy their weekend in their lounges.

Alabi said the EFCC officials beat the ladies’ clubbing, destroyed the doors leading into the rooms, and went away with CCTV cameras to conceal evidence of their activities.

He said they have evidence to prove all their allegations against the EFCC and that the raid of the clubs and lounges was similar to an armed robbery attack.

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Similarly, Abbass-Akinwande alleged that men of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission came into our premises around 1:30 am and arrested innocent persons enjoying their nightlife and those having parties.

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