The EFCC said that it was noteworthy that its operatives exercised restraint in the face of the unprovoked attack.
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has said seven of its operatives were allegedly attacked and held hostage by staff and students of the Federal College of Forestry, Ibadan, Oyo State.
The commission, in a statement on its website, on Wednesday, said that the operatives from the Ibadan Zonal Command were attacked in the school on Tuesday, while on a routine verification exercise of a surety, Azeez Kazeem Oluwakemi.
“The operatives were in the college to authenticate the address and identity of Oluwakemi, who stood as a surety for Alakinde Khalid Kolawole, a suspected internet fraudster in the custody of the Commission.
“A surety verification exercise is a standard law enforcement practice for the perfection of the bail conditions of a suspect. This fact occasioned the mission of EFCC’s operatives at the college.
“For some inscrutable reasons, students and staff of the college went on a frenzy of attacks against operatives of the EFCC, who were on an authorized assignment,” it stated.
The commission said that this was in spite of the fact that the college community was duly informed about the mission of the EFCC’s team.
“The college’s Student Union President, in concert with his colleagues and some staff of the institution, reportedly ignited a violent confrontation with operatives of the EFCC.
“Two main entrance gates to the college were barricaded with a car believed to be owned by one of the lecturers of the college.
“The bus that conveyed operatives to the college was vandalized, even as students and staff of the college threw stones and dangerous objects at the vehicle.
“A rescue team that came successfully released the seven operatives held hostage by the riotous crowd,” it stated
The commission said that it was noteworthy that its operatives exercised restraint in the face of the unprovoked attack and refrained from applying any force against the belligerent attackers.
“No student or staff of the college was shot, as armed operatives merely fired into the air to disperse the unruly crowd.
“The Commission wishes to assure the public that it will continue to perform its duties in line with its mandate, and unprovoked attacks against personnel of the Commission will no longer be tolerated.”