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OAU students storm EFCC office to protest colleagues’ arrest

Students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, on Wednesday, stormed the Ibadan Zonal Command of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibadan to protest the arrest of their colleagues by operatives of the anti-graft agency.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that the students, who came in three Coaster buses and three Hummer buses, were said to have stormed the commission’s office to secure the release of their arrested colleagues.

NAN also gathered that the protesting students were led by the leadership of the Students’ Union Government (SUG) of the institution.

This was even as the institution’s management said that there had not been any communication between the anti-grant agency and the institution alleging or accusing any of its students of financial crime.

NAN reports that no fewer than 70 students of the institution were reportedly arrested by officials of the commission (EFCC) in a midnight raid on off-campus hostels on Wednesday.

Sources in Ile-Ife confirmed to NAN that the EFCC officials stormed Fine Touch and Superb hostels in Oduduwa Estate, Ile-Ife, and rounded up the students.

Though reasons for the arrest could not be confirmed as of press time, the Students’ Union President, Abass Ojo, said the union had details of “72 students picked up from their hostels, with phones and cars taken away.

“Information at our reach revealed that EFCC officials stormed the two hostels between 1:40 a.m. and 4:00 a.m., but the question remains: how can you arrest people for using iPhones, laptops, and cars?”

Another student, simply identified as Ewatee, said that female students were among those who were picked up, adding that even some fresh students who just went to greet their senior colleagues were also arrested.

“According to our sources, the students were seen being marched into a white Hummer bus, which was one of the six vehicles on their entourage, under the supervision of some security officials, heading towards Ibadan,” the student said.

However, the institution’s management told NAN in Ile-Ife on Wednesday that investigation into the reported arrest of the students was ongoing.

Read also N14bn fraud: Banks look to EFCC to recoup funds

The Public Relations Officer of the institution, Mr Olanrewaju Abiodun, who spoke with NAN, said it could not be confirmed if truly those arrested are OAU students or not.

“As I’m talking to you now, there has not been any communication between the anti-grant agency and the institution alleging or accusing any student of financial crime.

“The management is still making enquiries to know if those arrested by EFCC are our students and their actual number.

“I can assure you that once we have any information or breakthrough on the identities of those arrested, the management will meet and get back to you,” he said.

When contacted, the Head of Public Affairs, Department of EFCC, Ibadan zonal command, Olumide Egbodofo, said an update would be given on the incident.

“A press statement will be released regarding that soon,” Egbodofo said