How OAU students moved EFCC to ban sting operations

Ogunsakin Mustapha
4 Min Read

By Ayomide Ogunsakin

Following the unlawful arrest, harassment and detention of 69 innocent OAU male students on Wednesday, November 1st, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) released 58 out of the 69 illegally detained OAU students at late night, and made a press release banning sting operations at night time for officers in all its commands across the country.

The statement which was signed by the EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, read:

“In line with the newly-reviewed procedures on arrest and bail of suspects by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Executive Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Ola Olukoyede has directed that sting operations at night time be stopped in all the Commands of the EFCC.

He gave the directive in Abuja on Wednesday, November 1, 2023 in reaction to the arrest of 69 suspected internet fraudsters by operatives of the Ibadan Zonal of the Commission in Ile-Ife, Osun State. Already, many of the suspects duly profiled by the Command have been released, while profiling of suspects yet un-released will be completed, without further delay.”

Laptops seized from the students

“The Commission wishes to assure the public that it will not relent in its adherence to the rule of law, in the exercise of its mandate.”

This release came after the protests and demonstrations made by fellow university students and student leaders of the Great Ife Students’ Union, who mobilized themselves in large numbers, down to the EFCC office in Ibadan, Oyo State.

The EFCC had also previously labelled these innocent students as internet fraudsters (Yahoo Boys), with their names online and after seizing their mobile phones and laptops.

School Management’s Involvement

It is noteworthy that the University management reportedly made no statements or moves on the issue throughout the period that these 69 male students were unlawfully detained, on grounds that the students were not on OAU campus when the raid happened on Wednesday morning, and that they first needed to carry out investigation to confirm that they were indeed OAU students.

However, after the students had been released due to the protests of students and student leaders who spoke out against the unlawful arrest as well as social media pressure, the management released a statement signed by the University’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Abiodun Olanrewaju earlier today, feigning that the release was secured following the university’s intervention.

The release stated that the Vice-Chancellor “appealed to students who were victims of the raid to put the experience behind them and move on with their lives.”

“He also lauded other students who rallied around their affected colleagues for being their brothers’ keepers without being violent or exhibiting any act of vandalism.”

Abiola Awoyeye, a member of the Osun State House of Assembly, representing Ife Central State Constituency, confirmed that 58 of the 69 students wrongfully detained have regained their freedom, and that talks are ongoing for the release of the remaining 11.

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