Panic struck on Tuesday, October 24, when officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were allegedly detained by students of the Federal College of Forestry, Jericho, Ibadan.
There are different accounts of what led to the situation as gathered from different sources.
While a source claimed that the EFCC operatives were in the school to arrest suspected internet fraudsters, another account has it that the operatives were misled into the hostel by a suspect under investigation by the agency.
However, both sources confirmed that the incident shattered the peaceful atmosphere of the College as the students watched the operatives of the anti-graft agency invade the hostel.
The operatives were said to have been locked in the hostel as the students mobilise to resist any operation.
The lockup, it was gathered, made the EFCC call for Police backup to help secure the release of the operatives.
The source said: “The information I gathered is that EFCC came to arrest a student at the Federal College of Forestry, Jericho, Ibadan.
“The students detained the EFCC operatives and called on the Chief Security Officer of the school who later took the officials to a meeting in the school board room.
“The students were all over the place which made the EFCC operatives call for Police back up into the school. Those (the police) were the ones shooting sporadically to scare the students and get them off the EFCC officers’ back.”
According to another account of the incident, the EFCC operatives were misled by a suspect under investigation to evade arrest.
The source said: “It was a member of staff that the EFCC operatives came for. The staff is under investigation by the EFCC and claimed to be a staff of the College.
“The EFCC operatives had picked him up at FRIN but he led them to the College on the pretext that he is a staff of the College.
“On getting to the College, he apparently played on their intelligence by leading them to the student hostel area, maybe in a bid to evade arrest.
“But when the students saw the EFCC operatives on campus and around the hostel, armed with guns, they were surprised and quickly mobilised and locked the entrances of the hostel.
“So, after they were detained, they had to get in touch with the school Chief Security Officer (CSO) and other top management staff.
“In fact, it was DSS officials that came to rescue the detained EFCC operatives. A woman drove the DSS van and smashed the entrance gate padlock with the butt of her gun.
“The lady drove with one hand and was shooting into the air with the other. The case has been reported at the Police Headquarters, Eleyele Ibadan.”
However, all the sources explained that the situation which led to a slight pandemonium within the College premises saw many students and staff scampering for safety while the shooting lasted.
The sources confirmed that a truce was later brokered when the students, after the persuasion of the school authority released the EFCC operatives who were later hosted to a meeting at the school board room.
It was gathered that the suspect who led the EFCC operatives into the College seized the opportunity of the pandemonium to make good his escape.
It was also established that the suspect particularly misled the anti-graft operatives by claiming to be a staff of the College, as when he was requested by the operatives to lead them to his department where he works, he misled the officers and took them to the student hostel.
A source within the anti-graft agency said he could not confirm the development but requested that The Nation return the call in 30 minutes.
Efforts to confirm the story from the Police proved abortive as calls made to the phone number of the command’s spokesperson, Adewale Osifeso did not go through as the network provider confirmed the phone was switched off.