… As Ekiti Govt. urges FRSC to employ more of its indigenes***
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibadan Zonal Office, on Tuesday warned hotel owners across the country not to accommodate suspected internet fraudsters in their facilities.
Its Spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, gave the warning in a statement in Ibadan, following the arrest of 56 suspected internet fraudsters in Abeokuta.
A said that the suspects were apprehended in their hideouts, which happened to be popular hotels in Abeokuta.
He said, “the operation was carried out based on verified intelligence backed by weeks of surveillance.”
According to him, the operation was earlier frustrated by the hotel owners, who employed various antics, including shutting down of power supply, to enable some of the suspects to escape arrest.
“Despite lack of cooperation by the hotel owners, the operatives demonstrated professionalism in ensuring that no one was hurt nor property damaged during the operations, contrary to the narrative in some sections of the media.
“The action of the hoteliers amounts to deliberate sabotage and obstruction of law enforcement officers, an offence punishable under Section 38 (2) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004,” Uwujaren said.
The anti-graft agency spokesperson said the commission had observed worrying pattern of cold complicity by some hoteliers.
He said the hoteliers appeared to be hands-in-gloves with suspected fraudsters by housing them over long spells and making internet facilities available to them.
“Argument made in certain quarters that the hoteliers have no means of determining who a fraudster is before allowing them to lodge in their facilities runs counter to the law.
“Section 3 of the Advance Fee Fraud And Other Related Offences Act, 2006 provides for a prison term of five to 15 years without option of fine for persons who allowed his premises to be used for any offence,” Uwujaren said.
He said the commission would not tolerate situations where hotel owners or managers permit fraudsters to use their facilities and shield them from arrest by law enforcement.
“If the hoteliers are not enablers of the alleged crimes, as some have demonstrated by offering information to the commission, they are under obligation to cooperate with law enforcement officers,” he said.
The EFCC spokesperson said that 10 exotic cars, dozens of mobile phones, laptops and several incriminating documents were recovered from the suspected fraudsters arrested in Abeokuta.
He said the suspects would be arraigned as soon as investigations were concluded.
In another development, the Ekiti Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, has urged the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to employ more Ekiti people into its service.
Egbeyemi made the appeal in a statement by his Media Aide, Mr Odunayo Ogunmola, on Tuesday, in Ado-Ekiti.
The deputy governor, who spoke when Mrs Elizabeth Akinlade, FRSC Sector Commander in Ekiti visited him, said that the number of Ekiti people in the employment of the FRSC was low.
“Available statistics is showing that Ekiti people in the service of the FRSC are very few. This should be corrected.
“We have many young men and women who are qualified enough to be recruited into the service of the corps.
“We are urging the FRSC to address the imbalance and give Ekiti its due consideration in the interest of the federal character principle,” he said.
The deputy governor expressed the state government’s commitment to always support the corps to deliver on its mandate.
“FRSC personnel in our state are dutiful and diligent, we shall continue to support the organisation to perform better,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Akinlade commended the Ekiti Government for inaugurating the Road Safety Advisory Council in the state.
She stated the Gov. Kayode Fayemi-led administration had been of immense support to the corps.
The sector commander expressed the commitment of the FRSC under its Corps Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, to make the highways safer across the country.