Armed EFCC operatives left several people injured after opening fire to disperse a youth conference and arrests guests during an overnight raid of a hotel in Enugu, witnesses said.
Agents believed to be from the anti-graft department’s field office in Enugu arrived at Castle Majestic in Ogui, about 10 kilometres southwest of the city centre, just before midnight, causing serious disruption and commotion, a witness said. The operation appeared to have first been posted on Twitter between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. Friday by a user with the name Ike Oraifite.
The handle said operatives broke into rooms without apparent warrants and arrested several guests before disrupting a youth gathering that was underway at the hotel’s conference room. At least 40 guests were feared driven away by operatives, who reportedly arrived in five unregistered vehicles, including two Toyota Hilux buses.
It was not immediately clear whether or not the agency had prepared cases against the over 40 suspects arrested prior to the raid.
The hotel proprietor was reportedly beaten by the agents who went on to forcibly collect master access to all rooms in the hotel, subsequently breaking in on sleeping guests with little regard for their privacy.
“Some people were injured as they scampered for safety after officers fired into the air and used teargas upon arrival. None of the injuries came from gunshots”, witnesses said.
A front desk officer at the hotel confirmed the presence of anti-graft operatives overnight but said he could not immediately comment as the management was holding a meeting to discuss the incident. Those who were at the hotel have reportedly called for a march to the agency’s office in Enugu, although The Gazette could not immediately identity organisers or whether or not it would hold.
The raid came as EFCC was coming under fire from Nigerians who feared its tactics was growing abusive and violent. Over the past two months, agents have stormed hotels in Lagos, breaking into rooms to arrest guests without presenting warrants of showing respect for people’s fundamental rights to privacy and dignity.
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