Chaos erupted as officers from the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) clashed with operatives from the Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Kaduna State over the arrest of suspected fraudsters.
The entrance to the EFCC zonal command office in Kaduna was barricaded by Air Force officers following the detention of some NAF personnel by the anti-graft agency.
Dele Oyewale, the EFCC spokesperson, clarified that the “face-off” resulted from the arrest of suspected internet fraudsters, prompting NAF personnel to storm the EFCC facility to demand their release.
He explained that EFCC operatives apprehended five suspects on Monday over alleged internet fraud-related activities at a residential Inn and Disney Chicken Eatery in the Barnawa area of Kaduna metropolis.
“The suspected fraudsters: Favour Itung, Rachael Ande, Zuleiman Haruna, Abubakar Ismaila and Solomon Olobatoke, were arrested without incident.
“However, after the sting operation, six military personnel who witnessed the operation at Disney Chicken Eatery stormed the Kaduna Command and attempted to forcibly release the arrested fraud suspects. They were subdued and detained over the security breach.
“The intruders are four Air Force personnel: Lawal Abdullahi, Chukwuma Chidi Christian, Alfa Suleiman and Emmanuel Ekwozor, and two students of Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology, AFIT: Chidera Anuba and Joseph Tokula.
“While in detention, there were inter-agency communication and discussions by the leadership of the EFCC and the Nigerian Air Force, NAF 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, to forcefully release their detained colleagues.
“The EFCC exercised restraint in the face of the provocation and flagrant abuse of power. The Commission continued to engage with the leadership of the Nigeria Air Force and released the officers to the NAF Provost after they had been duly profiled,” Oyewale stated.
As of the time of filing this report, the Nigerian Air Force had not commented on the incident.