On Wednesday, students from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, took to the Ibadan Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to protest the arrest of some of their fellow students by EFCC operatives.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the protesting students, led by the leadership of the Students’ Union Government (SUG), arrived at the commission’s office in three Coaster buses and three Hummer buses to seek the release of their detained colleagues.
The institution’s management has stated that there has been no communication from the anti-graft agency regarding any accusations of financial crimes against OAU students.
NAN reported that over 70 students from OAU were reportedly arrested by EFCC officials in a midnight raid on off-campus hostels.
Sources in Ile-Ife confirmed that EFCC officials targeted Fine Touch and Superb hostels in Oduduwa Estate, Ile-Ife, and detained the students. As of the time of reporting, the reasons for the arrests remain unconfirmed.
Abass Ojo, the Students’ Union President, stated that the union has information on “72 students picked up from their hostels, with phones and cars confiscated. Information available to us indicates that EFCC officials raided the two hostels between 1:40 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. But the question remains: how can people be arrested for using iPhones, laptops, and cars?”
Another student, identified as Ewatee, noted that even female students and freshers who had gone to greet their senior colleagues were among those detained. The students were seen being transported in a white Hummer bus under the supervision of security officials, heading towards Ibadan.
The university’s management disclosed to NAN in Ile-Ife that an investigation into the reported arrests of the students is underway. Olanrewaju Abiodun, the Public Relations Officer of the institution, explained that it was yet to be confirmed if the arrested individuals were indeed OAU students.
“As I’m talking to you now, there has not been any communication between the anti-graft agency and the institution alleging or accusing any student of financial crime. The management is still making inquiries to determine 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,” Abiodun stated.
Olumide Egbodofo, the Head of Public Affairs for the EFCC’s Ibadan zonal command, mentioned that a press statement regarding the incident would be released soon.